Louisiana Traffic Stop abilities


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Jimmy Dean
April 17, 2008, 01:15 PM
Can a cop search your vehicle w/o a warrant, RS, or PC, during a routine traffic stop?

Are you required to answer an officer during a routine traffic stop if they ask if you have a firearm in your vehicle? (When they know that you own a pistol and are legally allowed to own one)

This is, obviously, in Louisiana

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Sergeant Sabre
April 17, 2008, 01:47 PM
Search? No. One must have PC.

With reasonable suspicion that you are armed and may pose a threat of some kind, an officer may terry-pat you. In the past, a cursory "terry-pat" of a vehicle has also been allowed if there is RS to believe weapons are in the vehicle and may pose a threat.

It might be kind of a gray area. The vehicle terry-pat might work, but would likely depend a lot on how well the officer can articulate the reasonable suspicion in a report.

Jimmy Dean
April 17, 2008, 01:56 PM
the reasonable suspicion of me posing a threat?

They are pretty sure that I have a firearm in my truck, which in La is legal no matter its location in the vehicle, loaded or unloaded.

This happened in a location where I am allowed to have a vehicle in my truck as well according to the law, but against school policy (which is not a law, so, carrying in a vehicle is still not illegal)

The police officer(s) involved know me personally, they have for some time, they are also aware that I am in no way a threat to their safety.

NavyLCDR
April 17, 2008, 03:53 PM
Here's part of your answer from the LA Code of Criminal Procedure:

Art. 215.1. Temporary questioning of persons in public places; frisk and search for weapons

A. A law enforcement officer may stop a person in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed, or is about to commit an offense and may demand of him his name, address, and an explanation of his actions.

B. When a law enforcement officer has stopped a person for questioning pursuant to this Article and reasonably suspects that he is in danger, he may frisk the outer clothing of such person for a dangerous weapon. If the law enforcement officer reasonably suspects the person possesses a dangerous weapon, he may search the person.

C. If the law enforcement officer finds a dangerous weapon, he may take and keep it until the completion of the questioning, at which time he shall either return it, if lawfully possessed, or arrest such person.

D. During detention of an alleged violator of any provision of the motor vehicle laws of this state, an officer may not detain a motorist for a period of time longer than reasonably necessary to complete the investigation of the violation and issuance of a citation for the violation, absent reasonable suspicion of additional criminal activity. However, nothing herein shall prohibit a peace officer from compelling or instructing the motorist to comply with administrative or other legal requirements of Title 32 or Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

NavyLCDR
April 17, 2008, 03:57 PM
There's a whole bunch of stuff here:
http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?folder=69

jfountain2
April 17, 2008, 04:07 PM
If the officer asks you if he/she can search your vehicle and you say "no" or "do you have a warrant" the officer will automatically assume you are hiding something and call in to get a warrant issued and brought to him so he/she can search your vehicle. I've seen them do it. In Louisiana.

And in case your wondering, when the warrant gets there, you get to sit in the back of the patrol car while the officer and his/her back up officers and supervisors search every square inch of your vehicle. And they do not have to put all the stuff they toss out of your vehicle back where it came from so you are left (assuming you don't go to jail) with a pile of stuff on the side of the road and an empty vehicle while you watch the police drive off.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 04:09 PM
And they do not have to put all the stuff they toss out of your vehicle back where it came from so you are left (assunimg you don't go to jail) with a pile of stuff on the side of the road and an empty vehicle while you watch the police drive off.

So better to give up your rights voluntarily than be inconvenienced huh?

No thanks......I'd rather clean up the mess.

Guillermo
April 17, 2008, 04:12 PM
Policemen will ask if they can search you vehicle. They are trained to control the situation and to mix legal requirements with requests so that you are unaware as to which are which. If you do not know, ask in a respectful manner.

NEVER EVER allow a cop to search your vehicle. If they threaten you with the drug dog or something ask them what is their “reasonably articulated suspicion.” Also ask it you are free to go. If they detain you they have to tell you what they suspect you of.

jfountain2
April 17, 2008, 04:13 PM
So better to give up your rights voluntarily than be inconvenienced huh?

No thanks......I'd rather clean up the mess.

Actually, I agree with you. I will clean up the mess every time. No problem at all.

Guillermo
April 17, 2008, 04:29 PM
One more tip

Use humor so as not to escalate the situation.

My line is “I would let you but my best friend is an attorney and she would never let me hear the end of it if I did.”

This also lets them know, in a non confrontational way, that you have legal help.

Aaron Baker
April 17, 2008, 04:37 PM
Unfortunately, what does happen and what SHOULD happen are not always the same thing.

If the officer asks you if he/she can search your vehicle and you say "no" or "do you have a warrant" the officer will automatically assume you are hiding something and call in to get a warrant issued and brought to him so he/she can search your vehicle. I've seen them do it. In Louisiana.

From a strictly legal point of view, refusing to a search is not grounds for a search by itself. If it were, then there really wouldn't be a legal way to refuse a search, ever.

Now, that doesn't mean that such searches haven't ever landed someone in jail. If you're in that situation, you need a competent lawyer. A competent lawyer will get that warrant thrown out pretty quickly, and any "evidence" obtained as a result of it.

Aaron

NavyLCDR
April 17, 2008, 06:30 PM
The best answer is right in the law and in the section I posted earlier, if we are talking merely a traffic stop:

D. During detention of an alleged violator of any provision of the motor vehicle laws of this state, an officer may not detain a motorist for a period of time longer than reasonably necessary to complete the investigation of the violation and issuance of a citation for the violation, absent reasonable suspicion of additional criminal activity. However, nothing herein shall prohibit a peace officer from compelling or instructing the motorist to comply with administrative or other legal requirements of Title 32 or Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

That is Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 215.1d. The simple solution is to ask if you are being detained for any reason other than the traffic violation. The fact that you said no to a search (which I have never been asked myself, even when 20 years ago I was stopped while DWI), does not constitute reasonable suspicion of additional criminal activity - it is cause for reasonable suspicion of you just wanting to get the ticket and be on your way. Politeness will get you a long way, just a simple answer of NO to the question of may I search your vehicle without any tone or explanation is sufficient, and a simple, "Am I being detained for reasons other than the traffic violation" followed with "Am I free to go?".

Mainsail
April 17, 2008, 08:13 PM
If they do want to pat you down, make sure you close and lock the car door as you get out.

gbran
April 17, 2008, 08:21 PM
I think the fear not mentioned here is that out of spite, a dirty cop might plant drugs or something else to get back at you for giving him a rough time over the search.

Rmeju
April 18, 2008, 03:46 AM
I thought Louisiana cops were nationally very well-known for being upstanding beacons of justice that would never contemplate doing something as nefarious as that.

Reid

Dksimon
April 18, 2008, 04:07 AM
When LEO ask to search my vehicle I always reply "no, I dont think it would be right to waste your time like that"

But as far as weapons.
I always carry my long guns in the trunk so if they ask to see the guns I will pop the trunk for them but I won't give them free reign over the whole car.
Another tip, if you have a gun in your glove box go ahead and lock the glovebox. That way if Officer Law decides do go ahead and search illegally he will still not be able to get at your gun. Presuming that he is not going to find anything that warrents probable cause.

NAK
April 18, 2008, 10:04 AM
As a former resident of the fine state of Louisiana, who still travels there on business, here is how I handle travel in LA.

1] This is the only state with reciprocity that I consider NOT carrying in (depends on how long I'm there and where I'm traveling). When I do travel to LA with a CCW, I carry my cheapest KT.

2] Try my best not to speed (I don't always succeed). I set the GPS speed alert for 3 mph over the limit! I leave my radar detector at home.

3] At a traffic stop I say "Yes Sir", "No Sir", "Anything you want Sir"

4] I carry prescription and OTC meds ONLY in their original container.



Louisiana has repeatedly proved they are not part of the United States of America.
Louisiana, its like traveling to another country.

TexasRifleman
April 18, 2008, 10:28 AM
As another former resident of Louisiana and a person who has a very large family that still lives in Louisiana and someone who still considers Louisiana to be home, I find your quote HIGHLY OFFENSIVE. If you don't like our state the stay the hell out of it.

Well first off yes his comment was probably not High Road but let's be honest here both ways.

From an outsiders viewpoint, after watching the LA governor, the police of New Orleans, the politicians etc during the Katrina fiasco you have to admit that it would be easy to come to the conclusion that things are pretty messed up there.

Perception is a big part of reality. I've done business in LA for many years and I know firsthand it's a great place and some of the best people on the planet but if you got most of your information on the state from watching the reaction to Katrina you would truly never want to go there in your life.

What happened there could have happened anywhere and the response from gov would likely not be much difference,, but unfortunately it happened there and it's put a spin on people's feelings about Louisiana that will stick with them for a long time.

I hear the same thing from people I work with when I tell them I'm going to LA for whatever; "don't take your guns, they will take them", "the cops will steal your car" etc. Hey, it was on TV so it must be true right?

Jimmy Dean
April 18, 2008, 11:14 AM
I have lived in Louisiana for most of my life, my entire family is from here. I have to say, this i the dirtiest state I have ever lived in. We have the , at least openly, the dirtiest cops and politicians. I love the land, the people, it is the gov't that is simple not right around these parts. Jfountain, if you wish to say otherwise, you DO need to open your eyes. Howmany of our govenors and senators/congressman have been thrown in jail in the last 10 years? Do we not have a serious problem with illegal search and seizure? (The issue I am involved in is just another one)

Ske1etor
April 18, 2008, 11:44 AM
From an outsiders viewpoint, after watching the LA governor, the police of New Orleans, the politicians etc during the Katrina fiasco you have to admit that it would be easy to come to the conclusion that things are pretty messed up there.

Since when has one city ever been the basis to form an opinion of an entire state?

TexasRifleman
April 18, 2008, 11:51 AM
Since when has one city ever been the basis to form an opinion of an entire state?

Did you watch any of the coverage at all?

You are arguing with me like it's my fault. How many times did we hear the media blame the Governor of LA for this and that? How many times did she go on TV and the media spin anything she said out of control?

The media all but flat out said that it was a statewide issue of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence in addition to blaming the fed.

Doesn't matter if it's true or not, that's how they presented it to get the ratings up.

You live there so you have a close up view of it, I live next door and I see reality too. If you live in Chicago and you have never been to Louisiana and the only perception you have is what the new showed you would think it an awful place.

No one is saying its' true, but that's sure how it was spun.

The "dirtier" and "meaner" they could make it then the better the ratings were.

Remember stories of rapes and murders in the LA Dome? Any of it true? Not really but you couldn't tell from the coverage.

Remember the stories of the National Guard and so called "abuses"? Very little of that true either.

The people of Louisiana should be pretty pissed at the national media for their coverage, it was horrible.

But at the end of the day you have to be realistic and understand that some people's opinions were formed from that coverage.
Right or wrong that's how it happened.

Pretty extreme thread drift and my apologies, but you guys from LA, and most of the south honestly (me included), have to admit that there's been a presentation of law enforcement in the south as being "Sheriff Pusser" for many years now.

Stories like this don't help:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351618,00.html

Ske1etor
April 18, 2008, 11:57 AM
Did you watch any of the coverage at all?

No, I was kinda busy.. you know... being a mere 5 miles outside of New Orleans during the whole ordeal.

You are arguing with me like it's my fault. How many times did we hear the media blame the Governor of LA for this and that? How many times did she go on TV and the media spin anything she said out of control?

Not quite. I am not arguing with you. I asked a simple question.

I for one am very disturbed by the misconstrued media but that is not what I am talking about.

Gun owners should know better (And just for clarification, I am discussing with you, not blaming you or saying that you are doing the things I am pointing out. Is that better?) We deal with the media spin on a daily basis. Shouldn't we (As a group) know better than to listen to the media?

Also, if a person doesn't have the mental prowess to figure out that a 199 square mile area doesn't represent the 51,000 square miles of Louisiana, then we don't really need that person here... (Once again, not you.)

Clipper
April 18, 2008, 12:03 PM
jfountain2, Your over-the-top reaction to a throwaway comment like that, which by the way, is often repeated in reference to California, New Jersey, D.C., Illinois and a few others, gives an impression of reckless immaturity, and hurts your own credibility. A thinly veiled invitation to a confrontation doesn't help. Chest-thumpers don't impress here. If you feel so abused by a comment posted on an internet forum that you feel you might have to abandon it, perhaps you should, and save yourself and us further aggrivation...

XDKingslayer
April 18, 2008, 12:09 PM
Louisiana...

I drive around it.

Ske1etor
April 18, 2008, 12:12 PM
jfountain2, Your over-the-top reaction to a throwaway comment like that, which by the way, is often repeated in reference to California, New Jersey, D.C., Illinois and a few others, gives an impression of reckless immaturity, and hurts your own credibility. A thinly veiled invitation to a confrontation doesn't help. Chest-thumpers don't impress here. If you feel so abused by a comment posted on an internet forum that you feel you might have to abandon it, perhaps you should, and save yourself and us further aggrivation...

Oh, ok... so here on the "High Road" where respect for others is SUPPOSED to be the golden rule... showing disrespect isn't frowned upon... but defending against that disrespect is?

NAK
April 18, 2008, 12:35 PM
My comment was directed at the government in LA, not the decent folks that live there. Hey, I moved away for the job, not because I didn't like living there. I still have many friends and work acquaintances there and I have been back to N.O., since the storm, on a pleasure trip.

The original poster asked about Laws concerning traffic stops. There are significant differences between the letter of the law and how it is enforced in some parts of the US. In response to the poster, I offered my insight on a non-resident traveling in LA. here is how I handle travel in LA

Certain Parishes in La, in my experience, have limited respect for their own state laws and seem to sometimes "overlook" federal laws and a little thing called the Constitution of the United States. Being aware of your surroundings is critical to survival in our world...in some places, this includes being aware of how LEOs and the government operate.

This is what I do NOW and what I advise my Friends and those that work for our company to do, when they travel in LA. I never suggest that they do not travel there or that it is a bad place to visit. I have found that living in LA and traveling there as a non-resident to be two very different things.

Since moving to TX, I have personally be subjected to LA LEO hospitality just for having a front license plate on my car. This included almost 3 hours on the side of I-49, getting the contents of a rental car spread out in the mud and a dog digging through my suitcase (with muddy paws).

Ithaca37
April 18, 2008, 01:13 PM
My family has EARNED the RIGHT to be called American and I WILL DEFEND my family and it's rights to the death.

Wow, calm down...deep breaths, nobody has to die here. Good thing you don't live in CA, CT, MA, NY, NJ, etc. It is not inappropriate to criticize a place for screwed up policies and down right illegal behavior by its employees. Nobody said anything about you or your family.

Ske1etor
April 18, 2008, 02:29 PM
Nobody said anything about you or your family.

What about the Police Officers that work in Louisiana and happen to be registered to this forum?

jfountain2
April 18, 2008, 02:42 PM
First, my apologies to Jimmy Dean for high jacking his thread. I will attempt to remedy the situation with this post.

Second, Ske1etor, Thank you! It is nice to know someone with common sense, and decent values, stayed and is trying to make south LA a better place. My very best wishes to you and yours.

Clipper, when I read a comment that says my home should not be a part of the country I love, it makes me mad. I and my family are honest law abiding citizens of the USA and have and will continue to defend it. You are entitled to your opinion concerning my remarks and I probably should have taken a minute or two and calmed myself down a little. I do still feel that an insult such as the one posted is in fact an insult to all people from Louisiana and since 150 of those people (the count at our last family reunion) are my family I do take an insult like that very personally. I was raised to defend God, family, country, and state, in that order and I always will.

XDKingslayer, have a safe trip.

NAK, I agree completely with the fact that Louisiana law enforcement and government are seriously corrupt and have been for as long as I can remember. If your comment was directed solely at them then I offer you my most sincere apologies.


Now back to the original subject and our host Jimmy Dean……..

Guillermo
April 19, 2008, 11:38 AM
Like Jimmy Dean, I spent a large number of years in Louisiana. My father was the chief of police in the city I grew up in. Lived in NO, and BR. Went to LSU.

The government is horribly corrupt. New Orleans is a sewer.

The are trying. They elected Bobby Jindal governor largely to try to clean it up. New Orleans, however, is doomed.

Most of the troopers are okay. It is when you get into the small towns that you can get hosed. Usually they just want traffic citation money. Out of town plates are a target.

Unlike NAK, I carry a .357 or a 45, especially if I have to go to N.O. Of my current guns, I would carry my XD45 with an extra mag.

TexasRifleman
April 19, 2008, 01:23 PM
Most of the troopers are okay. It is when you get into the small towns that you can get hosed. Usually they just want traffic citation money. Out of town plates are a target.

And you could say the same about small towns in other states too.

Massachusetts at one time had the most speed traps in the country per capita, not sure if that's still the case.

Small Texas towns are notorious for this. That's an indication of a broken tax system not necessarily corruption or evidence of a state that's falling apart.

JWarren
April 19, 2008, 01:40 PM
Maybe.... just maybe... judgments on entire states are not appropriate.

Ask how quick a thread will get locked if it starts bashing CA in general around here. How is LA any different?

FYI... the worst I saw during Katrina was the OUT-of-town LEO's who came in to save those poor ignorant fools from themselves. For the large part, the local LEO's that I saw were just trying to get through it like everyone else. Chances are that they had a few trees inside their homes as well-- but was out there doing a job for the community rather than taking care of their own problems.


LA isn't perfect. But judging the entire state by New Orleans is insane. That's like judging the entire state of Florida by Miami. From my 5 years in FL, I never met a person in FL who really wanted that, either.


-- John

Guillermo
April 19, 2008, 03:11 PM
No question that La is subdivided between N.O. Metro and the rest of the state.

Certainly the point about little towns and out-of-state license plates was not created in La. It was however perfected there.

Sadly, Katrina exported a lot of N.O.'s problems.

I own property in N.O. and if I can ever unload it (or never unload it) I may never return to La. If I have to I will be well armed.

(Luckily I can buy boudin, andouille and tasso in Texas)

Aguila Blanca
April 20, 2008, 10:51 PM
With reasonable suspicion that you are armed and may pose a threat of some kind, an officer may terry-pat you. In the past, a cursory "terry-pat" of a vehicle has also been allowed if there is RS to believe weapons are in the vehicle and may pose a threat.

This is not correct.

An LEO may not initiate a "Terry stop" (or the subsequent "Terry frisk") just because of a reasonable suspicion that a person may be armed, or even that a person may be armed and "May" be a threat to "someone."

The criteria for a Terry stop is that the officer must have a reasonable suspicion based on clearly artculable facts (i.e. no "hunches") that a crime has been committed, is being committed, or is about to be committed. Once the LEO has satisfied that threshhold and initiated the Terry stop, he may then conduct a "Terry frisk," which must be limited to determing that the detainee is not armed and does not pose a direct, immediate threat to the officer. For vehicles, the Terry frisk extends to those areas of the vehicle within the direct reach of the driver and in plain sight. No "search" beyond that can be justified as a "Terry frisk."

Just being armed, even if the officer knows you are armed, does not give rise to anything that could be reasonable suspicion that a crime has been comitted or is about to be committed -- unless the stoppee is a known, convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms. In other words, if the only reason for a stop is a traffic violation, then the officer cannot claim the right to do a "Terry frisk" on the vehicle in the name of "officer safety." The entire situation has to meet the criteria for a Terry stop before he can do that.

jaholder1971
April 21, 2008, 10:46 PM
What happend after Katrina was not caused by the state government, true they made many mistakes, but they had no idea what to do... nobody did. A large part of the mistakes were caused by the federal government and state government not working together.


I'm calling BS on that one!!!

Seems Florida knows how to handle hurricanes fairly well. So did Mississippi, Alabama and Texas when dealing with Katrina.

SO why didn't Louisiana cope? Why didn't the levees work? One reason: The state is corrupt and dysfunctional.

Every state has (or is supoosed to have ) a disaster plan. Louisiana's was apparently to turn belly up and whine for the Feds to bail them out.

Louisiana's politicians has gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks that were supposed to go to levee boards. Somewhere the money disappeared.

When your own Congressman is using National Guard assets to remove bribe money from his home hidden in freezers while people rot and die in stagnant waters tells a story of that state no Pulitzer prize author could. So does the fact that 2/3 of N.O. has decided that they have it better off where they're at now than when they were living there.

flatdog
April 21, 2008, 11:54 PM
About one week after Katrina hit N.O. hurricane RITA devastated much of west and central Louisiana. Whole Parishes were wiped off the map. The major difference was that there was no political hay to be made from it.

People dug in and went to work helping their neighbors and themselves so the finger of blame couldn't be pointed on national TV.

Two major hurricanes in the span of one week. Two completely different responses.

One State.

Art Eatman
April 22, 2008, 11:48 AM
I give up. This has gotten so far beyond traffic stops that it's totally lost in pointless arguments.

Closed.

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