A brand new cellular telephone, new atlases, fast food, and energy drinks OH MY


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Vernal45
June 30, 2005, 03:22 PM
v.

STATE OF ARKANSAS

APPELLEE

CACR04-888

JUNE 29, 2005

APPEAL FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

[NO. CR-04-73]

HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, CIRCUIT JUDGE

REVERSED AND REMANDED

Karen R. Baker, Judge

Appellant, Manuel Meraz-Lopez, appeals a jury verdict convicting him of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia and sentencing him to a total of 240 months' imprisonment. His sole challenge to this conviction is that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence seized from the trunk of his car at the scene of a traffic stop. We agree.

At 10:04 p.m. on January 30, 2004, Arkansas State Trooper Jason Aaron activated hislights to pull over a 2004 Crown Victoria that was following the vehicle in front of it too closely. The trooper testified that the car took longer than most cars to pull over in response to his lights. When the car stopped, Aaron approached the passenger side of the vehicle and explained to the appellant, who was the driver, that he had been following the car in front of him too closely. Appellant explained that the car in front of him slowed down as it crossed the state line, causing him to follow it too closely. While speaking to appellant, Aaron noticed that appellant had a brand new cellular telephone, new atlases, fast food wrappers, and energy drinks scattered in the front. Aaron

considered the presence of these items as indicators of possible criminal activity.

Aaron explained that "we've encountered [possession of new cell phones] in almost every single one of our drug arrests" because drug couriers were provided telephones so that the drug suppliers could track the couriers. While the new phone was not suspicious on its own, the appellant's hands were shaking when he handed the trooper his paperwork, consisting of the car's rental agreement and his driver's license. In addition, the rental agreement indicated that the car had been rented on January 28 in Palmdale, California, and was due back there on February 4, while appellant's driver's license indicated that he lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Appellant's reasonfor the discrepancy was that he was driving to Little Rock to visit family for two days before returning to Palmdale and moving to California. The trooper viewed this information as suspicious in that appellant was driving more than 3,400 miles for a two-day visit, and that in his experience, drug couriers take such atypical trips.

After checking appellant's paperwork, the trooper asked appellant to come to the back of the car so he could issue him a warning. The trooper described appellant at this point as "extremely nervous" as though he were "going to pass out." The trooper viewed appellant's nervousness as excessive when compared with the nervousness he normally encounters during traffic stops. In response to the trooper's question inquiring whether appellant felt well, however, appellant explained that he was shaking and starting to feel sick due to going suddenly from the warm car to the cold, night air.

Trooper Aaron issued appellant a warning at approximately 10:10 p.m., six minutes after the stop, and then asked whether he could search appellant's car. As this was occurring, Olen Craig, also of the Arkansas State Police, arrived at the scene. Although Aaron and appellant had been conversing in English during the entire stop, when the trooper asked for consent to search, appellant seemed suddenly to not understand English. Other testimony indicated that TrooperCraig and an officer who later interviewed appellant, Special Agent Doug McAllister, agreed with Trooper Aaron's assessment that appellant appeared to be fluent in English. Trooper Aaron nevertheless retrieved a consent form in Spanish, and appellant began to review it. The trooper asked appellant whether he felt okay, and appellant responded that he felt like he was going to be sick, going from hot to cold without a jacket. The trooper explained that because he was concerned that appellant was going to fall, he asked appellant whether he wanted to sit in his patrol car, and appellant said, "yes."

Although appellant eventually signed the consent form, it is unclear whether he did so before Trooper Eric Schrock arrived at the scene with his drug dog and ran it around the car from 10:24 to 10:26 p.m.1 The dog alerted on the trunk of the car, resulting in the discovery of three boxes containing approximately ninety-five pounds of marijuana.

Appellant does not challenge Trooper Aaron's initial stop of the car, but argues that thetrial court erred in failing to suppress the evidence seized from the traffic stop because a reasonable suspicion did not exist to continue to detain the appellant after the warning ticket was issued. In his argument, appellant alleges constitutional violations as well as violation of Rule 3.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure. The State argues that the constitutional argument is not preserved for appellate review because appellant relied exclusively upon Rule 3.1 at the suppression hearing. However, we need not decide the waiver issue in that appellant's reliance upon Rule 3.1 is well taken, and we reverse on that basis.

When we review the denial of a motion to suppress evidence, we conduct a de novo review based on the totality of the circumstances, reviewing findings of fact for clear error and determining whether those facts give rise to reasonable suspicion or probable cause, giving due weight to inferences drawn by the circuit court. Simmons v. State, 83 Ark. App. 87, 118 S.W.3d 136 (2003). In order for a police officer to make a traffic stop, he must have probable cause to believe that the vehicle has violated a traffic law. Sims v. State, 356 Ark. 507, 157 S.W.3d 530 (2004). Whether a police officer has probable cause to make a traffic stop does not depend on whether the driver was actually guilty of the violation that the officer believed to have occurred. Id. at 512, 157 S.W.3d at 533. As part of a valid traffic stop, a police officer may detain the partywhile the officer completes certain routine tasks-such as computerized checks of the vehicle's registration, the driver's license, and the driver's criminal history-and writes the driver a citation or warning. Id. at 514, 157 S.W.3d at 535. During this process, the officer may ask the party routine questions such as the party's destination, the purpose of the trip, and whether the officer may search the vehicle; the officer may act on whatever information is volunteered. Laime v. State, 347 Ark. 142, 60 S.W.3d 464 (2001).

Under Ark. R. Crim. P. 3.1, a detention without arrest may transpire under certain circumstances:

A law enforcement officer lawfully present in any place may, in the performance of his duties, stop and detain any person who he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed, or is about to commit (1) a felony or (2) a misdemeanor involving danger of forcible injury to persons or of appropriation of or damage to property, if such action is reasonably necessary either to obtain or verify the identification of the person or to determine the lawfulness of his conduct. An officer acting under this rule may require the person to remain in or near such place in the officer's presence for a period of not more than fifteen (15) minutes or for such time as is reasonable under the circumstances. At the end of such period the person detained shall be released without further restraint, or arrested and charged with an offense.

Pursuant to Ark. R. Crim. P. 2.1, "reasonable suspicion" is defined as "a suspicion based on facts or circumstances[,] which of themselves do not give rise to the probable cause requisite to justify a lawful arrest, but which give rise to more than a bare suspicion ... a suspicion that is reasonable as opposed to an imaginary or purely conjectural suspicion." Our supreme court has held that the determination of whether an officer has reasonable suspicion depends on whether, under the totality of the circumstances, the officer has specific, particularized, and articulable reasons indicating that the person may be involved in criminal activity. Laime, 347 Ark. at 155, 60 S.W.3d at 473. In the absence of reasonable suspicion, it is unlawful for law enforcement to detain a party once the legitimate purpose of the traffic stop is concluded. Sims, 356 Ark. at 515, 157 S.W.3d at 536.

This case is similar to Sims, supra. In Sims, during a valid traffic stop made midday, the police noticed that the driver was nervous and sweating and thought it was strange that he volunteered an odd comment about having just been to Wal-Mart to buy a swing set. After telling Sims that the traffic stop was over, the police then decided to run a drug dog around the car. Oursupreme court held that reasonable suspicion to detain did not exist, primarily because nervousness alone does not give rise to reasonable suspicion. Id.

The recent case of Lilley v. State, ___ Ark. ___, ___ S.W.3d ___ (May 26, 2005) is also instructive.2 In Lilley, our supreme court focused on when the traffic stop was over and held that reasonable suspicion did not exist based on the fact that Lilley was nervous, he was drinking energy drinks, his car smelled like air freshener, the rental agreement was for one-way travel, and the car was rented in another person's name, although Lilley was listed as an additional driver. As our supreme court explained, taken as a whole, these facts are seemingly innocent. But cf. Burks v. State, ___ Ark. ___, ___ S.W.3d ___ (June 9, 2005) (distinguishing Lilley and finding that the facts at the time the traffic stop was over suggested that the rental car had been stolen).

Likewise, under the totality of the circumstances in this case, we hold that the facts do not establish "specific, particularized, and articulable reasons" that criminal activity was afoot. The presence of a brand new cellular telephone, new atlases, fast food, and energy drinks scattered in thefront are seemingly innocent. Even if appellant's shaking was due to nervousness, rather than the cold air of the January night, nervousness alone is not a sufficient basis to detain an individual. See Laime, supra. Consequently, the trial court erred in failing to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the search of the car.

While a consent to search was eventually signed, the uncertainty of when it was signed cannot remedy the unwarranted detention which resulted in the officer's securing the consent.

Accordingly, we reverse and remand.

Crabtree, J., agrees.

Pittman, C.J., concurs.

1 The State has a heavy burden to prove by clear and positive testimony that consent was freely and voluntarily given. Stone v. State, 348 Ark. 661, 74 S.W.3d 591 (2002); Norris v. State, 338 Ark. 397, 993 S.W.2d 918 (1999). The testimony in this case fell short of the burden to prove that the consent was given prior to the search.

2 We attempted to certify this case to the supreme court; however, the supreme court declined to accept certification upon handing down its decision in Lilley v. State.

http://courts.state.ar.us/opinions/2005a/20050629/ar04-888.html

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Vernal45
June 30, 2005, 03:23 PM
Crawford County drug conviction overturned
Thursday, Jun 30, 2005

By Aaron Sadler
Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK - State police did not have a compelling enough reason to search an Arizona man's rental car during a Crawford County traffic stop, the Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

The court reversed the conviction of Jose Manuel Meraz-Lopez, who was sentenced last year to 20 years in prison on drug charges.

The court said Crawford County Circuit Judge Mike Medlock erred by failing to suppress evidence from the search, specifically 95 pounds of marijuana discovered in the car's trunk. The case was sent back to the circuit court.

Judge Karen R. Baker, writing for the three-judge panel, said Meraz-Lopez's nervousness at the time of the traffic stop did not in itself provide police a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

The court said the man should not have been detained after the initial purpose of the traffic stop ended.

State Trooper Jason Aaron stopped the man's vehicle for following too closely on Jan. 30, 2004, on Interstate 40 near the Oklahoma state line.

When Meraz-Lopez was asked to exit the car, Aaron described him as "extremely nervous," near the point of fainting. He said the man told him he was feeling sick from leaving a warm car into the cold January air.

Aaron issued Meraz-Lopez a warning ticket, then asked to search his car. He was provided a consent form in Spanish, even though police said he seemed to speak fluent English, the court said in its summary of the case.

At that point, Meraz-Lopez said he felt ill and agreed when Aaron asked if he wanted to sit in the trooper's patrol car.

Another trooper came to the scene with a drug-detecting dog a few minutes later. The court said it was unclear whether Meraz-Lopez signed the consent form before the drug dog was used.

Regardless, the timing of when the consent form was signed did not remedy Meraz-Lopez's improper detention, according to the opinion.

Aaron testified at trial he considered the presence of a new cellular telephone, new atlases, energy drinks and a one-way rental-car agreement as indicators of possible criminal activity.

However, the appellate court said those items are "seemingly innocent."



Copyright Arkansas News Bureau, 2003 - 2005

http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2005/06/30/News/323739.html

BostonGeorge
June 30, 2005, 03:46 PM
I can see where the trooper got his suspicion from. After all, energy drinks contain caffiene, which is also the active ingrediant in coffee. As we all know coffee = PC, therefore it should be inferred that energy drinks do as well.

fjolnirsson
June 30, 2005, 05:03 PM
brand new cellular telephone, new atlases, fast food wrappers, and energy drinks scattered in the front

Well, holy crap! I'm glad I didn't get pulled over on the way to Oregon! I had this sort of "evidence" all over the front seat of my truck!
You couldn't write better comedy than what passes for PC nowadays. :barf:

Keaner
June 30, 2005, 05:14 PM
See what a false sense of security can do! Just cause you dont have a coffee can in your car...

Vernal45
June 30, 2005, 06:12 PM
See what a false sense of security can do! Just cause you dont have a coffee can in your car...

LMAO, good 1 :evil:

Justin
June 30, 2005, 06:39 PM
http://www.macvanmaps.com/BUSTED.gif

Spreadfire Arms
June 30, 2005, 06:40 PM
those items were forming his suspicion, not legal probable cause to do anything. personally i think it was good police work. the guy did, after all, have a trunk load of marijuana. :banghead:

Vernal45
June 30, 2005, 06:47 PM
those items were forming his suspicion, not legal probable cause to do anything

Those items can be found in about 95% of all vehicles. Does that mean when stopped you are under suspicion of a crime?

308win
June 30, 2005, 06:48 PM
Next time the LOE should simply take the dope and let the runner explain to the owner why it didn't get to its destination. My guess is that his explanation would be met with a lot of skepticism.

odysseus
June 30, 2005, 06:51 PM
It's a funny one actually.

I mean I agree the cell phone alone seems a little bit of a stretch (I just got a new one myself! :uhoh: ) - BUT the guy did have 95 pounds of the reefer-madness in his trunk! :D - so the officer was correct... but the DA or judge screwed it up it looks..

I think it is hilarious.

fjolnirsson
June 30, 2005, 06:53 PM
those items were forming his suspicion, not legal probable cause to do anything

You're right, my mistake. In addition to my move to Oregon, I also had brand new cellular telephone, new atlases, fast food wrappers, and energy drinks scattered in the front seat of my truck every day while I attended the police academy, since it was a 2 hour drive from my home. Sorry, it just doesn't add up for me. Any idea how popular energy drinks and fast food are among today's youth? Hel, anyone in the Bay Area might typically have all of these items in their front seat. This, IMO, is on the same level as searching a vehicle because of coffee cans in the back seat. I'm serious. It's really ludicrous.
Now, honestly, it could be that something about the guy just didn't look right, or he "felt" wrong. One of the things I was taught in the academy was that if something feels wrong about a stop, you manufacture reasons to dig. Such as coffee cans being used by criminals in an attempt to confuse drug sniffing dogs. Manufacture of a reason to search is what I have a problem with. And it's common police practice. Does it get "criminals" off the street? Sure. But it also violates the civil rights of the average citizen. Police officers are being encouraged to play a very dangerous game these days. The result is a growing distrust and dislike of the police.

fjolnirsson
June 30, 2005, 06:57 PM
brand new cellular telephone, new atlases, fast food wrappers, and energy drinks scattered in the front

As a matter of fact, I just checked in my truck. Guess what I found in the cab?

Actually, the cell phone is about 6 months old now. But it looks new. Guess I better not get pulled over. At this point, I may as well be driving around with dryer sheets and coffee cans. I'm such a rebel!
Gods preserve us from overzealous public servants. :uhoh:

GunGoBoom
June 30, 2005, 07:21 PM
Can someone point me to the *original* coffee can thread?

Vernal45
June 30, 2005, 07:27 PM
Gods preserve us from overzealous public servants.


overzealous

Well, thats one way to put it.

Zundfolge
June 30, 2005, 07:31 PM
those items were forming his suspicion, not legal probable cause to do anything. personally i think it was good police work. the guy did, after all, have a trunk load of marijuana.

And a broken clock is right twice a day.

If we just did away with the 5th amendment they would catch a LOT more criminals.

If it saves just one child from smoking that demon weed it doesn't matter what the police do to the innocent.


:rolleyes:


/me goes to get another cup of coffee

Vernal45
June 30, 2005, 07:41 PM
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=140048&page=2&pp=25&highlight=empty+coffee


GunGoBoom,

There ya go.

Standing Wolf
June 30, 2005, 09:22 PM
More Great Victories in the war against selected drugs!

HonorsDaddy
June 30, 2005, 09:40 PM
If we just did away with the 5th amendment they would catch a LOT more criminals.

Well they did do away with part of it last week...

waterhouse
June 30, 2005, 09:54 PM
In my car you might find some fast food wrappers and some energy drink cans, and my cell phone is relatively new (4 months old)

Thanks god I have one of those handy GPS Nav. systems so I don't have very many maps. It seemed like a pricey upgrade at the time of purchase, but now that I know I don't look like a criminal it was all worth it.

bogie
July 1, 2005, 09:26 AM
Heh, heh...

I clean my car out when it _needs_ it.

Right now, in the passenger side floorboard:

About 25-30 diet coke empties.

Numerous fast food wrappers.

A few maps.

A coupla bags of stuff under the stuff that I have no idea right now what they contain...

The seat holds TWO cell phone chargers, and occasionally both cell phones.

Cuff me.

Don Gwinn
July 1, 2005, 09:46 AM
I can remember at least once in my younger days being asked if I'd let an officer search my truck. I told him he was welcome to search it, but I could never find anything in there so I doubted he would, either. At that time the floor of that truck was literally a foot deep in food wrappers, cans, auto part boxes, etc. etc.

To his credit, he dug in with a will. Today I'd tell him no, but back then I figured if I had nothing to hide, why would I refuse a search?

GT
July 1, 2005, 12:51 PM
I guess I am one of the very few who thinks this was good police work?

Seems that the cops were right, but just a few minutes late in getting the sniffing dog there (seems they get 15 minutes to do their thing).

The court correctly reversed the decision and justice was served.

The guy was guilty and he walked.

The drug legalizers should be happy, their guy won.


G

Vernal45
July 1, 2005, 12:57 PM
I guess I am one of the very few who thinks this was good police work?


:what:

Aaron testified at trial he considered the presence of a new cellular telephone, new atlases, energy drinks and a one-way rental-car agreement as indicators of possible criminal activity.

SO, its ok, for a LEO to jack with you, want to search, call a dog out all because you have a new cell phone, an atlas, an energy drink and food wrappers in your car? Each one of us has 1 or all of these items in our vehicles. Does that mean we are all under suspicion? That is the point of this.

Yes the guy was guilty, yes the cop screwed the pooch by not asking for consent/dog earlier.

My point is, again, the items in the vehicle that lead him to believe this man was guilty, does not matter that in the end he was, these objects are common, every day purchases for everyone, like coffee.

BrokenPaw
July 1, 2005, 01:00 PM
When I lived in Summerville, SC, I worked down by the Naval Weapons Station near there. One day I went out to get McLunch for myself and a co-worker. On the way back to work, I got pulled over by a Charleston cop. As soon as she looked in the vehicle, she asked me to get out, frisked me (which was a Good Thing, cos she was cute :D ), and told me to stand over on the shoulder with her partner.

She asked me for consent to search my vehicle, and I told her that I did not give consent. She told me that I had an open food bag (Remember -- McLunch) in the car, which was an indication that I "lived in the car." Mkay, so that's probable cause, how? Anyway, I told her that it was probable cause that I'd just gone to get lunch, and again refused consent. Then she told me that the map I had on the floor of the passenger seat was an indicator that I did not know where I was. I politely informed her that if I were using that map to help me, I'd be a lot more lost than she thought, since it was a New Jersey state map (I'd been visiting my folks the previous week, and they'd just moved to south Jersey). She looked stumped for a minute, and then said that I had been driving slowly, which was another indicator that I was unfamiliar with the area. I asked her how fast I'd been going. She said, "25." I pointed to the "Speed limit - 25" sign just down the road. (Golly, officer, why is it you think I might not be speeding with a fricking police cruiser right behind me?)

She informed me that the three indicators (the McFood, the map, and the driving-the-speed-limit) were enough to give her probable cause, so she was going to search my car without my consent.

Not a whole lot I could do at the time. She searched, she found nothing. She wrote me a ticket for having a bad tail-light. She let me go.

The really actually scary part about the whole thing is that later that evening I realized that I had left three 10" throwing knives in the back of the car (they'd gotten covered up by some paper). And she missed them. While searching my car, after I'd denied consent. You'd think after going through all of that trouble, she'd have been a wee bit more thorough. :confused:

::shrug:: There's nothing that's going to stop a cop from searching your car if dryer sheets, coffee cans, McLunch, and maps constitute probable cause.

Granted, my car at the time was a grungy-looking Camaro IROC, and I do not look like the guy you want your daughter dating. Now, I drive a much more respectable-looking car, and I still look like the guy you don't want your daughter dating. But I don't get the hairy eyeball from police any more. I don't know why.

-BP

Vernal45
July 1, 2005, 01:08 PM
There's nothing that's going to stop a cop from searching your car if dryer sheets, coffee cans, McLunch, and maps constitute probable cause.

Bingo, that is the problem.

Cellar Dweller
July 1, 2005, 01:11 PM
Yesterday, I had a Double-Monster-Thickburger and an 20oz energy drink, a two-month-old cell phone, two road atlases (1993 and 1998) and ~30 pages of Mapquest directions in my work truck. It also contains hand and power tools. I work for a kitchen exhaust cleaning company that has contracts for restaurants and institutions.

Probable cause:
Assault-sized burger
Assault-sized energy drink
burglar tools (electrical, plumbing, general hand tools, three flashlights)
weapons (three multi-tools, box cutter, razor blades and scraper, two folding knives)
turn-by-turn directions to jails and hospitals (gov't facilities!)
cell phone, the choice of criminals (don't have ringtones though)
digital camera

I guess I better never get pulled over, eh? :rolleyes: I must be a drugged-out burglarizing terrorist, it's not like I might need all this stuff to actually do my job...

GunGoBoom
July 1, 2005, 01:12 PM
The 4th Amendment has become meaningless in practice.

Well, sort of. It has become *almost* meaningless in your *vehicle*, because the search-incident-to-lawful-arrest rule gives them power to search the passenger comparment even if 'arresting' you for a speeding ticket or broken headlight, if I'm not mistaken, and even if not actually hauled off to jail. Could be wrong however. In your HOME, however, the 4th thankfully still has quite a bit of meaning. Just remembr that (a) you don't have to consent to a search - they need PC & a warrant then, (b) BUT, anyone else who lives in your household can give the cops consent to search your stuff, if the cops can convince them to so give consent.

Cellar Dweller
July 1, 2005, 01:19 PM
She informed me that the three indicators (the McFood, the map, and the driving-the-speed-limit) were enough to give her probable cause, so she was going to search my car without my consent.

So speeding is criminal activity and NOT speeding is an indicator of potential criminal activity. :banghead:

Guilty until proven guilty.

BostonGeorge
July 1, 2005, 01:26 PM
Just remembr that (a) you don't have to consent to a search - they need PC & a warrant then, (b) BUT, anyone else who lives in your household can give the cops consent to search your stuff, if the cops can convince them to so give consent.

This is an important point. We all need to make sure our families understand the consequences of seemingly innocent actions. Your children, parents, SO's, etc. should know, that although it may seem rude, if the police show up at your door to not invite them in. They would be more than happy, however, to speak outside. Once invited in it's just way too easy for an LEO to claim the found something in "plain sight." Police are also permitted, once in your home, to perform a "safety search," which includes opening closets, looking under beds and so forth. If the police are asking for consent, it's because they couldn't do whatever they're asking to do without permission.

Spreadfire Arms
July 1, 2005, 03:19 PM
vernal45 wrote:

Those items can be found in about 95% of all vehicles. Does that mean when stopped you are under suspicion of a crime?

well, when you are stopped, you are under suspicion of committing a traffic offense. any cop who just pulls someone over and doesn't at least look for other violations, in my book, isn't a good cop. he's not proactive. traffic stops can lead to other offenses, but if you get all upset when the cops do their job how are they supposed to keep idiots off the streets?

that, in and of itself, is not suspicious. but couple that with his nervous behavior then your suspicions may be aroused.

the difference between an honest citizen and this crook is that he had a trunkload of marijuana.

i have nothing to hide from the police. i don't think they'd harass me on a routine traffic stop.

BrokenPaw
July 1, 2005, 03:34 PM
i have nothing to hide from the police. i don't think they'd harass me on a routine traffic stop.Spreadfire, did you read my post? I didn't have anything to hide either (the throwing knives were legal, because of their blade length; I was just astounded that she didn't find them at all). She had no actual probable cause, and I had nothing to hide. But I spent 45 minutes on the side of the road with people gawking at me while she cast about looking for any pretext at all to rummage through my stuff.

Having been unable to find one, she rummaged through my stuff anyway.

-BP

SMMAssociates
July 1, 2005, 04:37 PM
I'm an old Rent-A-Cop. Emphasis on old....

Some of the best Police Work that's likely to happen is the result of a good hunch. (Forensics and informants, plus some occasional phenomenal luck, seem to cover the rest.) :eek:

The case under discussion shows me (IANAL) that the subject was acting in a suspicious manner, which justifies more serious scrutiny.

Devious behaviour on the subject's part may have delayed the consent form, too. (Refusing to sign may be suspicious behaviour all by itself even though it's a right.)

All of this seems to justify the dog search. End of story.... Bear in mind, too, that the dog "alerted" outside of the vehicle. The courts probably call this a search. I consider it a "nice doggie wants to walk around"....

('Course, the court didn't agree with me, but then again they didn't ask. Must have been that I'd not stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.... :rolleyes: )

What's wrong with this picture (and has been well discussed) is when an Officer chooses to search for "a" and finds "b", which may be a technical issue instead of something like "possession for sale".... IOW, I don't like to see somebody jacked up during a traffic stop because the gun in the range bag has a magazine in the same pocket (illegal in OH) even though it's unloaded.

Notwithstanding whatever the kid left in my car the last time she borrowed it (which would kill her college tuition real fast) :what:, I'm a regular at a local range, and there are always a couple hundred rounds of ammunition in the trunk. I had some surgery in late February that left me with a "don't lift more than 15#" limit. Since I was able to get out to the range anyway, I moved the usual load of ammunition to a second bag, and just carried them to the car separately. My range buddy was carrying that bag for me when we got to the range. For convenience, the ammunition bag now stays in the trunk if I don't need the space for something else. (I'm allowed to lift it now.)

On the "two guns makes an arsenal" basis, all that ammo has to result in some questions should the trunk be searched, even though carrying this stuff around is legal in OH. I would just as soon not have to justify that.

IAC, we're in a situation where any LEO or Prosecutor can ruin your day, to some extent because what is legal isn't necessarily PC anymore.... :fire:

(Or it's election time.... :banghead: )

Regards,

308win
July 1, 2005, 04:41 PM
To his credit, he dug in with a will. Today I'd tell him no, but back then I figured if I had nothing to hide, why would I refuse a search?
Occasionally (and more frequently in some jurisdictions) police find things that weren't there before they looked. I wouldn't voluntarily allow them to search my vehicle, end of disscussion.

Not being an attorney the following question might be way off base: If they insisted on searching without permission using PC as the justification why couldn't one invoke one's 5th ammendment rights whether or not one had anything to hide?

TheDutchman
July 1, 2005, 05:05 PM
I was pulled over by the APD a few years ago for excessive noise(stereo was to loud) ,it being a stock stereo. the Officer the pulled my over asked for my license and insurance, but could not for the life of me find my new insurance card. I made the mistake of ask the officer was having a nice night, his response was " Why in the F@#k you asking". I responded to the officer that every time I get pulled over I ask if they are having a nice day or night. His response was "what are you a puke A#$ trouble maker get out of the car" and out I go to the ground. I did not consent to search of my Vehicle but they did anyway. The Sgt did not have anything to arrest more for and let me go with a ticket.

scubie02
July 1, 2005, 05:34 PM
the guy with the iroc is right on the money that certain cars make you a target. Years ago when I owned a Mustang, I was pulled over more times than with all the other vehicles I have owned combined, and often it was clear they were just fishing. I had cops look all over that car, in the wheel wells, and want to look in the trunk. In most cases they manufactured a reason to pull me over. On one memorable occasion I was home for the weekend and was pulled over in the middle of town on New Years eve. The cop's supposed reason was that there was a sign that said no right on red, and I had turned right on red. I politely pointed out that the sign actually said TRUCKS no right on red. This of course had no effect. As it happened, my father happened to be driving by, saw me pulled over, and turned around to come back to ask what was going on. The cop was semi hostile asking what he wanted, but upon him saying he was my father (mind you, I was in my mid to late 20's at the time, but once a dad always a dad) said I had turned right on red where there was a no right on red sign. I almost laughed out loud when my dad pointed out the signs says trucks no right on red. The cop at this point said right out that he really just pulled me over because it was a mustang and it was new years eve and he wanted to make sure I hadn't been drinking, and obviously I hadn't been so no harm no foul I could go.

Now sure, I wasn't on my way to a job interview I was now going to be late for or anything and to some degree it wasn't a big deal, but still, being pulled over for a fair amount of time, in the middle of a small town where now tongues would wag just because I drove a mustang...not really cool.

I now drive one of the new Legacy Gt turbos. Its actually faster than that old mustang was, but looks like your badic family car 4 dr sedan. Cops rarely even look my direction now. When the new mustang came out, I thought it was a hell of a good looking car, and considered tading in for one out of nostalgia, but then part of me thought how I'd probably just be a cop magnet again and that is a big deterrent. Pretty sad in a supposedly free country to have to feel that way.

As another aside, I routinely keep a coffee can in the back of my truck in the extended cab part. I live in a rural area where winters are severe, and use the truck especially for hunting, so I am in even MORE remote areas, often far from an actual road. Inside the can is a roll of toilet paper, and I also have a bottle or rubbing alcohol. Dump the alcohol over the toilet paper, light, and you have a heat source that can be used for hours in the event of being stranded. I have tons of other crap back there--multiple wool survival blankets, waders, various ammo, spares of anything I can think I might need. Sadly, after all this crap I read, I am a little nervous having the damn coffee can in there...

Henry Bowman
July 1, 2005, 05:42 PM
Dutchman -- But did he ever answer your question??? :p

GT
July 1, 2005, 06:16 PM
SO, its ok, for a LEO to jack with you, want to search, call a dog out all because you have a new cell phone, an atlas, an energy drink and food wrappers in your car? Each one of us has 1 or all of these items in our vehicles. Does that mean we are all under suspicion? That is the point of this.
I understand the point.

You obviously don't understand mine, or you didn't read the ruling thoroughly.

He stopped the guy for a traffic stop, perhaps because of the out of state plates on a rental car; maybe it was stolen.
The cell phone, atlas and stuff made the cop want to look further.
The fact that the guy was freaking out made him want to look further still.
The fact that he was making a 3000 plus mile run for a 2 day trip in a car rented hundreds of miles from his home made him want to look even further.
The fact that the guy suddenly lost the ability to speak English was probably the clincher.

But yeah, too late, justice served etc.

If you want to legalize marijuana then fine that's good. But don't take three things out of context in a ruling and yell police state.

I know it's fashionable here to hate the police but let's try a little harder to find real evidence before we condemn them all.

G

CentralTexas
July 1, 2005, 07:56 PM
(Art's Grammaw struck again...)

Denko
July 2, 2005, 01:43 AM
I don't think anyone here condemns all the police.Many of us have had to deal with some real jerks wearing a badge.It would be good if the good cops did some proactive policing and got rid of the jerks.Cops should follow the law.I was driving down the road in my white CHEVROLET truck when I was pulled over.When the LEO came up to the window he stated"We have a report of a stolen white FORD truck".I told him it was a CHEVY.Then he said"I just wanted to see who you were" Am I supposed to respect this guy?? Or all the similar bull???? stops(with bull???? attitudes) that I have experienced.

SMMAssociates
July 2, 2005, 02:53 AM
I don't think anyone here condemns all the police. Many of us have had to deal with some real jerks wearing a badge.It would be good if the good cops did some proactive policing and got rid of the jerks. Denko:

Not the worst idea anybody's ever had, and it varies by department and geographical location. "Back East" a cop has to commit murder to get arrested. 'Course there are "Internal Affairs" functions in most departments that will usually deal with stuff like that. What won't happen is a traffic ticket for an LEO from out of town....

Elsewhere, heading West, the chances of getting a ticket or, for that matter, getting jammed up on a "Concealed Carry" problem, increase as you get closer to California. My warp drive is out of service, so I'm not sure what happens in CA.... I probably wouldn't like it....

Cops should follow the law. I was driving down the road in my white CHEVROLET truck when I was pulled over. When the LEO came up to the window he stated"We have a report of a stolen white FORD truck". I told him it was a CHEVY.Then he said"I just wanted to see who you were"

For better or worse, and my own view is "better" (sorry), LEO's often do "pretext" stops on the hunch that things aren't what they seem. Usually, if there's nothing much going on, you'll be detained for a couple minutes, and that's that. Make a problem out of it, or have contraband on board, though, and you may regret it.

The other reason for the stop you mentioned may be due to the theft not being "official" yet. People don't always tell the truth. Not necessarily intentionally.... Grandma Bluehair may call in to say that some no-account just stole her Ford, and when an Officer arrives to do the paperwork, produce the registration for a gray Honda.... Meantime, the original "Ford" has been broadcast as an "unofficial stolen" and you go by....

(Some years ago I was in a minor dispute with my favorite car dealer. I sent my lawyer a draft of a letter I was considering sending the dealer. "Bert - have a look at this and tell me what you think about it." He had his secretary type it up on his letterhead, with a little editing. Ever have a Cadillac Town Car? OK, he was 86 then, but the folks at the Lincoln dealership got the message. Genuine Lawer with years of experience....)

Am I supposed to respect this guy?? Or all the similar bull???? stops(with bull???? attitudes) that I have experienced. Respect everything but bad attitude. If the latter, talk to a lawyer, or at least to the Officer's supervisor. Many PD's are using in-car cameras. Things will not bode well for them if the tape doesn't exist....

(Never argue with an LEO. Especially when he's right.... :what: )

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