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wilit
01-23-2010, 9:26 AM
So my buddies and I were discussing a theoretical situation. If you wear a T-shirt that says, "I have a concealed firearm and I am a felon" does that give LEO probable cause to search you?

Glock22Fan
01-23-2010, 9:29 AM
The courts have rules that NRA stickers on your truck are NOT Probable Cause for a seach. I don't think that they have ruled on your T-shirt wording, so it is hard to say

greg36f
01-23-2010, 9:50 AM
So my buddies and I were discussing a theoretical situation. If you wear a T-shirt that says, "I have a concealed firearm and I am a felon" does that give LEO probable cause to search you?

Probable cause is not one tangible thing. It is developed based upon known fact and the officer’s experience and knowledge. The shirt in itself probably not probable cause, but it can sure make you stand out in a crowd. This may lead to a consensual contact where probable cause is quickly developed.

Sure, you can just walk away from the officer, but a hostile or angry attitude upon attempted contact (or the simple refusal to talk to the officer) will be one more fact that the officer needs for a detention.

The officer still probably does not have enough, but couple this with any bulge in your clothing, you bringing your hands towards your waist when the officer walks towards you, your own physical appearance or the area the area that you are in and the officer can probably articulate a legal detention.

From there, a simple pat down for weapons is next (I won’t use the term “Terry” because people seem to argue it’s meaning and intent here al the time).

Of course, all this is void if the officer simply watches you long enough to see you commit the most minor of municipal code or traffic code violations. Most of us commit many of these a day without intending to (We all have our bikes registered with the city right!).

loather
01-23-2010, 10:27 AM
It probably doesn't constitute probable cause as it's speech protected by 1A, but it's a really, really stupid idea.

littlejake
01-23-2010, 10:39 AM
It probably doesn't constitute probable cause as it's speech protected by 1A, but it's a really, really stupid idea.

I agree. We do not win friends with provocative tee-shirts about weapons. It's a darn good way to get shot by a LEO.

If you want a tee-shirt, try "Don't Tread On Me" -- it's provocative; but non threatening.

dustoff31
01-23-2010, 10:52 AM
So my buddies and I were discussing a theoretical situation. If you wear a T-shirt that says, "I have a concealed firearm and I am a felon" does that give LEO probable cause to search you?

An officer doesn't need probable cause to do a Terry stop, only reasonable suspicion.

Would a reasonable person believe that a crime is being, or is about to be committed?

B Strong
01-23-2010, 10:55 AM
So my buddies and I were discussing a theoretical situation. If you wear a T-shirt that says, "I have a concealed firearm and I am a felon" does that give LEO probable cause to search you?

Probably not search, but stop and talk, yes.

If during the stop and talk his antenna gets tweaked, a search might be conducted.

I think if one wasn't a felon and wore that shirt out and about, and told an officer to go pound sand if questioned, that fellow might just be an attention whore.

But the question imo sounds like a guy in religon class back in HS trying to make the priest's brain explode from trying to explain why God couldn't make a rock so big that he couldn't move it...

Syntax Error
01-23-2010, 11:02 AM
Sure, you can just walk away from the officer, but a hostile or angry attitude upon attempted contact (or the simple refusal to talk to the officer) will be one more fact that the officer needs for a detention.

I highly doubt that would be grounds for probable cause. There is the Fifth Amendment, after all.

Alan Block
01-23-2010, 11:03 AM
way suggests that the owner is engaged in any crime. A tee shirt with that on it is arguably an admission of a crime. It is not obviously political speech and if there are two interpretations (political speech / admission of crime) then I think the police would have probable cause.

AJAX22
01-23-2010, 11:05 AM
http://www.gagswag.com/designs/best/thumbnails/tnA2284B-lg-b.jpg

AJAX22
01-23-2010, 11:05 AM
http://rlv.zcache.com/texas_concealed_carry_2_yes_i_am_tshirt-p235974956335065349t5tr_400.jpg

tenpercentfirearms
01-24-2010, 5:47 AM
So my buddies and I were discussing a theoretical situation. If you wear a T-shirt that says, "I have a concealed firearm and I am a felon" does that give LEO probable cause to search you?

Maybe not, but it might give him probable cause to determine your identification. Which if you are a felon or on probation/parole, might give them probable cause to search you. I would think it would just start you towards a legal search.

That is a good question. Do felons have to answer questions anymore than we do? Do you have to identify yourself?

The more I think about it, you do have freedom of speech, but how would wearing this T-shirt be any different than just telling a cop, "I have a concealed firearm and I am a felon." That would most certainly give the officer probable cause. So why is your T-shirt any different?

Here is the scenario I am envisioning. Officer: Sir, I have reason to believe based on the statement on your T-shirt you are committing a crime. Are you a felon?
You: No I am not.
Officer: I have reason to believe you might be lying based on the statement of your T-Shirt, may I see your ID?
You: No you may not, am I free to go?
Officer: No you are not. I am detaining you to determine your identification because based on the text of your T-shirt I have reason to believe you might be a felon in possession of a firearm. What is your name?
You: I don't consent to searches.
Officer: I am placing you in custody/arrest/whatever and taking you downtown until I can properly determine your identity.

Now if you identify yourself and he runs you and finds out you have no priors and you are just screwing with him, then maybe he has no reason to search you. Also, he could have just skipped finding out if you were a felon and asked if you had any firearms on you and said based on the statement of your T-shirt, he needed to do a Terry search for officer safety. I would think a Terry search based off of the T-shirt would probably hold up in court.

Yes you have freedom of speech, but that freedom can also get you in trouble just the same whether you say it or write it. The right to remain silent also applies to the text on your T-shirt I would think.

GrizzlyGuy
01-24-2010, 6:13 AM
Yes you have freedom of speech, but that freedom can also get you in trouble just the same whether you say it or write it. The right to remain silent also applies to the text on your T-shirt I would think.

Yes, I think it could be argued (whether true or not) that the text on your shirt is a statement being voluntarily made by you. See how they define PC over at ProbableCause.org (http://probablecause.org/whatisprobablecause.html):

Probable cause must be based on factual evidence and not just on suspicion.

Most probable cause sources can be placed into four categories. These categories are:

* Observation – This is information that the officer obtains through their senses, such as sight, smell or hearing. This category is also used when an officer detects a familiar pattern of criminal activity that contains suspicious behaviors (i.e., flashing headlights, circling around a certain neighborhood.)

* Expertise – These are skills that officers are specially trained in, such as: being able to read gang graffiti and tattoos, detecting tools that are used in burglaries or knowing when certain movements or gestures indicate that a criminal activity is about to occur.

* Information – Statements provided by witnesses and victims, information provided by informants, and announcements made through police bulletins and broadcasts.

* Circumstantial Evidence – This is indirect evidence that implies that a crime has occurred but does not directly prove it.

While there are some sources of probable cause that need to be supplemented by other sources, some sources are sufficient enough to stand on their own.

Taken in totality, PC could (arguably) be established simply by you wearing that shirt and them observing it.

hoffmang
01-24-2010, 10:45 AM
http://rlv.zcache.com/texas_concealed_carry_2_yes_i_am_tshirt-p235974956335065349t5tr_400.jpg

We are so going to have to make a California version of this!

-Gene

obeygiant
01-24-2010, 10:52 AM
We are so going to have to make a California version of this!

-Gene

Sign me up! I'll take a T-Shirt and a Sweatshirt.

tankerman
01-24-2010, 11:08 AM
20+ years ago when I was a teenage, had an LEO say he was going to search my car, asked him what was the probable cause, his response "probable cause is anything I want it to be".

Cokebottle
01-24-2010, 11:31 AM
20+ years ago when I was a teenage, had an LEO say he was going to search my car, asked him what was the probable cause, his response "probable cause is anything I want it to be".
Unfortunately, he is correct.

He has to have RS or PC and be able to document it in court and in his report, but he does not have to articulate that justification to you.

bohoki
01-24-2010, 1:05 PM
We are so going to have to make a California version of this!

-Gene

yea preferably with the bottom half in clear plastic so you could wear your inside the wasteband concealment rig yet it would not be concealed you stuff is covered by the shirt yet not concealed

the ultimate liars paradox shirt

Anothercoilgun
01-24-2010, 4:20 PM
If the reason for such a t-shirt is to refresh liberty, then not a damn thing wrong with the shirt. I see no reason this gives a LEO to shoot you as some claim a good reason. I see no injured party, nor do I see incitement.

To be bared from such a shirt proves the shirt should be worn. Now if all ignore the shirt as all should do, then the shirt only then would be stupid to wear because it is not protesting anything since the state of the union is as it should be.

MudCamper
01-24-2010, 7:14 PM
http://images9.cafepress.com/product/294817899v3_350x350_Front_Color-Black.jpg