A person told you that they were not doing anything illegal and that caused you to have a reasonable suspicion that they were doing something illegal? Does that make sense to you?
In any case, a search of a person (or in this case his immediate area in the vehicle) for weapons is always easy to justify, and courts have historically sided with officers in that respect. I guess I could then add, Don't have shell casings lying around your car, but I think it's pretty obvious that could lead to a search. You would not have been able to develop PC for a search without those things.
So basically to recap:
If a person says he has weapons (legal or otherwise) a search of the area(s) containing weapons is likely, and will probably hold up the way the law is currently written for unloaded checks.
If a person says “I have nothing illegal in my vehicle” there is no PC to search beyond the immediate area of the person (where he won't have anything that would give further PC if he has any sense). Regardless, a search seems less likely if the person gives the statement of “I have nothing illegal in my vehicle" and that statement is unlikely to be incriminating in any way.
It's all well to say "Know the laws, obey them" and hope the justice system will protect you, but the fact is many here have enough experience to know that simply is not good enough. You must protect yourself legally in any encounter with law enforcement and avoid situations where an officer's lack of knowledge (or worse) can lead to an arrest.
I do not provide legal services or practice law (yet).
The troublemaker formerly known as Blackwater OPS.
Last edited by Matt C; 12-01-2009 at 2:44 PM..