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traffic stop question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Ukraine Train, May 25, 2005.

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  1. Ukraine Train

    Ukraine Train Member

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    According to my friend if you're asked to step out of your car during the course of a traffic stop like for a sobriety test for instance, but are not being placed under arrest, you are not required to comply with the request. Sounds like BS to me but I thought I'd check.
     
  2. M109A6 Paladin

    M109A6 Paladin Member

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    Not sure, but if you give it a try don't forget to send your address so we can send you cigarettes. :(
     
  3. bakert

    bakert Member

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    I don't know the law but think I would get out if asked by a person I was certain was an officer. Since in the past we have had bogus cops stop people around Louisville, I think you can ask for a uniformed officer or marked car to be sure. Sounds like one of those "I heard, he said" kind of things.
    Baker
     
  4. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    Since they don't necessarily know if they're going to arrest you until you pass or fail the sobriety test, it sounds like BS to me. Similar to the technicality whereby you don't actually have to pay income tax. :scrutiny:
     
  5. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    Depends on the law in your state. Some states have laws requiring that you provide a minimun of information such as your name.

    If you such law exist, you won't be charged with any crime (yet), but you will be taken to the police station for questioning. That's why all the cop shows use the line "we can talk here or we can talk at the station...your choice."
     
  6. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    Well if you are dead set not to take a sobriety test they can't really force it on you per se... but refusing to take a test is usually a separate crime that results in suspension of your license.
     
  7. captain obvious

    captain obvious Member

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    I had always believed that it was refusal of the roadside sobriety test carried no penalty, but refusal of the breathylizer violated implied consent (in VA/WV, anyway). Need to check again - remember I am neither a lawyer nor do I play one on television.
     
  8. TheFederalistWeasel

    TheFederalistWeasel member

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    In Georgia, you must under state law provide a valid DL issued by a US State, or a valid military ID if you are operating a military vehicle while in the official course of your military duties.

    You must also comply with any reasonable request from the officer during the course of the traffic stop and stepping out of the vehicle is reasonable. Consenting to a search is not, there for you can refuse the officer permission to search if you so choose.

    You do not have to submit to any roadside sobriety tests while roadside, but if you refuse to take the state required intox chemical test your license will be automatically suspended for 6 months to a year.

    Passengers of a motor vehicle in Georgia do not have to produce ID to an officer on a traffic stop as well, but this is a touchy subject with a lot of cops I know. They think they have a right to demand ID from everyone including the dog.

    How I would handle it as a passenger if a cop is asking for my ID during a traffic stop where I was just a passenger. I would ask the cop if I had to show my ID to him/her if they say yes then I would present it to them, If charges befell me for some reason or another my lawyer would have little trouble getting them tossed once the judge saw the tape or heard from the other witnesses in the car where the officer told me that I must present ID as a passenger.
     
  9. jnojr

    jnojr Member

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    I saw someone post that they would take the keys out of the ignition, drop them on the floor of the car, lock the doors, get out, and close the door They then said there was a hidden spare to get back in the car later.

    If I was a police officer, and someone did that, my suspicions would be aroused (if they weren't already). I'm thinking, at the least, you'd spend a lot more time standing there with me. I'd call for a dog. And anything I found, you'd get written up for... no warnings.

    Basically, the side of the road isn't the place to "fight your battle", as you will lose. If the police want you out of the car, you're coming, one way or another. If they want to search your car without a warrant or grounds, they're going to do it. This is why we have courts... so you don't have to die in a gunbattle to defend your rights.
     
  10. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    NO, this is why we have a problem. :banghead:
     
  11. Sungun09

    Sungun09 Member

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    Advise from a lawyer friend

    DO NOT "blow" in illinois. Better a suspended license than DUI.

    Secondly, if asked, exit the car and then LOCK IT. Decline a request to allow a cop to look in the vehicle using definitive language, for instance, whatever the cop says, you respond explicitly, "I do not give consent to search my vehicle". Watch out for word games.....

    You can't stop a cop from taking your keys but that would result in an illegal search and evidence found would generally be dismissed.
     
  12. TheFederalistWeasel

    TheFederalistWeasel member

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    First off remember 99% of these stops are video and audio taped, so starting a confrontation on the roadside is not good.

    Having said that I personally want you to stay in the car on a stop, because of several reasons, two of which are,

    First I have broad control over you area of limited movement, I can take advantage of several techniques that we regularly train on which are designed to make you maneuver in odd ways to communicate with me, and I have unlimited movement outside the vehicle. For you to get to me you have to get out of the car, which takes an action and buys me some time.

    Second, you are in a comfort zone and therefore more relaxed during what may be an upsetting situation for you.

    I have placed people in cuffs for jumping out of the car and acting odd, but usually they immediately became verbally combative right off the bat sending up my red flag and the situation went down hill from there.

    But in the end it’s all about you and I firmly believe unless I’m doing positive speed enforcement (and have a predetermined threshold for a ticket on a stop) or click-it-or-ticket, you are going to decide whether I issue a ticket or not.

    If I stop you for a minor stop sign violation such as a rolling stop, or a right turn on red where prohibited, hey it’s a warning unless you demand otherwise.

    Tail light out, courtesy stop to let you know of the defective equipment unless you demand otherwise.

    General goofiness such as a teenager acting stupid behind the wheel trying to impress his equally stupid friends or scared girlfriend it’s a warning unless you demand otherwise.

    I stop folks all the time for 87, 88, 90 and even last night one for 97 in a 65 mph zone.

    I stroke’em but if attitude is polite, not friendly mind you just humanly polite as it should be, I’ll scratch the ticket for 79 in a 65 or 89 in a 70 just to save you the points towards a suspension and your insurance agent stroking and bending you over his desk.

    As the told us in verbal judo,

    “Let attitude float like boat down stream”.


    ;)
     
  13. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    "According to my friend if you're asked to step out of your car during the course of a traffic stop like for a sobriety test for instance, but are not being placed under arrest, you are not required to comply with the request."

    So how does your friend know he's not going to be arrested either before or after the FST???????

    Courts have also ruled that a LEO can ask the driver or anyone else inside the vehicle to step outside of the vehicle.

    Pennsylvania v. Mimms
    Supreme Court of the United States
    434 U.S. 106, 98 S.Ct 330 (1977)

    Question: May the police order the driver of an automobile out of the car during a vehihcle stop for a traffic violation in the absence of suspicion of a criminal activity or a reasonable belief that the driver poses a threat to police safety?

    Answer: "Once a motor vehicle has been lawfully detained for a traffic violation, a police officer may order the driver to get out of the vehicle without violating the Fourth Amendment"

    "Rather than conversing while standing exposed to moving traffic, the officer may prefer to ask the driver of the vehicle to step out of the car and off onto the shoulder of the road where the inquiry may be pursued with greater safety to both."
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2005
  14. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    I'm pretty sure it depends on the state and its laws.

    FWIW I've been told that in Texas if you are asked to perform a field sobriety test. You know the walk along a straight line, hop up and down on one leg while recieting the alphabet backwards that you dont have to. Its sort of 5th amendment stuff to not incriminate yourself and you dont have to answer any of the officer's questions other than giving them your driver's liscense if you are driving.

    That being said if you are asked blow into a breathalizer and you dont thats one of the things I think you can loose your driver's liscense for.
     
  15. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah the THR legal defense team rides again :rolleyes: .

    Several years back a defense attorney in North Central Illinois was giving his clients cards to hand the officer through a small opening in the window. The idea was that the suspected DUI driver wasn't going to even let the officer get a whiff of his breath. IIRC this didn't work very well. Drivers were arrested for Obstruction of Justice for impeding the investigation into the DUI by refusing to have any contact with the officers. Most were arrested for DUI anyway and were convicted on the dash cam footage of their driving.

    No, there is no requirement to submit to SFSTs. However in most cases you'll just be arrested for DUI on the spot. I have a case pending right now where a man ran his brother's truck into a ditch at about 1am. He got out of the truck and ran for the garage. As I was investigating the truck in the ditch, door open, lights on, ignition off, keys missing, he staggered out of the garage. I asked him why he ran from for the garage after he put the truck in the ditch, he denied drivng the truck. I told him I saw him get out of the truck and run into the garage, he still denied drivng and stated that it was his brother's truck and he (the brother) must have parked it in the ditch. I asked where his brother was and he said at home, I should call him and ask him why he parked the truck there. He refused to take SFSTs and denied that he was driving all the way to the jail. Refused to take the breathalyzer test.

    He's currently serving his mandatory suspension for being arrested for DUI, his suspension for refusal to take the breathalyzer test is pending, and I have no doubt that my testimony, that of the other officers and the wreaker driver as well as the videotape of his conduct in the jail, that we'll convict him for DUI when the case comes up.

    Jeff
     
  16. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Different issues...

    Most states have what is called "implied consent". It means, when you apply for a driver's license, you have already consented to be field tested for DUI if a police officer has reason to suspect you may be 'impaired'. This has nothing to do with any crime, it's part of the license agreement between the driver and the state. Driving an automobile is not a constitutionally protected right; even if folks think it should be.

    Cops in general do not stop people randomly for DUI checks. Cops stop people because their driving shows some degree of 'impairment'. Weaving across the lines, sloppy turns, sloppy stops and starts at signs and lights, and those kind of things. If you sneezed and crowded the centerline and a cop stops you, he's interested if you're drunk. Respond accordingly.

    That's probably good advice if you're drunk. However, may I suggest if you're drinking, take a cab home instead of endangering yourself and everyone else on the road?

    The reason for searching a car is much like checking for DUI. I've been stopped and ticketed (always for speed) serveral times. I've never been DUI checked and never had my car searched; or even asked to search. Maybe it's just my charming physiognomy.

    Police can search your car under certain conditions. The Supreme Court has held that due to the mobile nature of automobiles, warrentless searches are far more reasonable for an auto than a home or business.
    I'll quibble about "... search your car without ... grounds..." Cops in general are not going to waste their time on a groundless search. However, the cop must be able to explain in court why he searched a car without a warrant; he doesn't have to convince the driver.

    I would also echo the several comments made about attitude. A belligerent and uncooperative attitude is simply going to focus attention on the driver as having something to hide.
     
  17. TheFederalistWeasel

    TheFederalistWeasel member

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    To quote a Superior Court Judge I had a case in front of once, when finding a guy guilty of felony obstruction and simple battery of a law enforcement officer.

    “The law gives you all the rope you need, it’s up to you whether you will make yourself a safety net or a noose.”

    It all stemmed from a traffic stop where the guy decided to act like a jackass and believed he knew more about the law than I did.

    He was one of these fella’s who felt it was his God given right to use his cellphone to call his attorney at 3 AM in the morning after I stopped him for speeding, evidentially to ask his lawyer how he should proceed.

    He would not even acknowledge my presence after the initial contact and me asking him for a D/L, he blew up at me and kept yelling that he was not doing anything until he spoke with a lawyer, and then proceeded to use his cellphone.

    I tried to communicate with him several times until he told me to “shut the F#@%K up he was talking to his lawyer”.

    We I at that point called for backup, backup arrived in the form of two city officers and a State Trooper and we explained to him how this was going to go down if he did not exit the vehicle.

    He was still steadily running his mouth on the phone, so we proceeded to remove him from the car.

    Not unexpectedly he began to resist and ended up smacking another officer before we subdued him and took him to jail for,

    Speeding

    Obstruction of an officer 3 counts misdemeanor

    Obstruction of an officer Felony 1 count

    Simple Battery of an officer 1 count

    The funniest thing out of all of this was the reaction of the judge when he watched this stop from my in car video unit and the other 3 units which arrived at my call for assistance.

    The defendant was attempting to tell the judge what we were doing wrong and how the law works when the judge more or less cut him off and said I really don’t believe what I’m hearing after just watching such a display of willful disregard to reasonable commands of an officer on a lawful traffic stop and you rather unreasonable and downright stupid behavior, the law gives you all the rope you need, it’s up to you whether you will make yourself a safety net or a noose, you sir chose to hang yourself. If you had just complied with the request for ID all you would have was a speeding ticket.

    The judge gave him 12 months in the county jail 5 years on probation and 500 hours of community service


    Oh yeah, the phone call...

    He was on the phone with his sister, he admited that in court and he showed up in court w/o a lawyer.
     
  18. Flyboy

    Flyboy Member

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    Jeff...

    Please tell me I misunderstood that. Just getting arrested is a mandatory suspension?
     
  19. TheFederalistWeasel

    TheFederalistWeasel member

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    In Georgia once arrested for DUI, a form called an ALS (Administrative License Suspension) form is filled out.

    You have 10 days from the date of the offense to request in writing an ALS hearing in front of a Judge or, yes your license is automatically suspended for a minimum period of 180 days.

    If you request the hearing the ALS board will send you a hearing application return form which authorizes you to operate a motor vehicle on the roads of the state for 180 days, until the hearing or until the judge suspends your license or returns them to you.
     
  20. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Easy no hassle solution:
    Don't drink and drive.
     
  21. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    UT, if the po-po want you out of the car, get out of the car. Eddie Haskell up or you'll end up with TFW's arrestee. Operative word is cool, just like El Tejon--smile and nod, use your Jedi mindtrick.

    FSTs. Depending on state law, may be required may not be. Why someone would willing help convict themselves, I do not understand, but I see it everyday. :uhoh:

    Jeff, my line from my prosecutor daze was, "that car didn't get here by skyhook." Juries always loved it.

    Flyboy, like TFW sez, way it usually works, once a OWI/DUI is filed (charges brought by prosecution), an administrative license suspension is activated upon the finding of probable cause by the court (close eyes, stamp order). Here that suspension is 180 days.
     
  22. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    LoL I've been pulled over for speeding 3 times so far. 1 I paid, 1 I won at trial, and 1 I'm going to be working on shortly.

    This latest one was when I was coming back from Big Bend this past weekend with some friends. Anywas tickets says I was going 79, which OMG I must be a total monster going 9 miles over the speed limit.

    Anywas the officer asked if we had our camping gear in the trunk which I answered yes to, but she didnt ask to search. In fact the only time that anyone has asked to search my vehicle happened on said same trip.

    We went though like something like 6 BP checkpoints all of them went fairly easily "are you US citizens," "Yes," "okay drive safely."

    Maybe about an hour after I got my ticket and on the other side of Del Rio we come to the last BP checkpoint that we will see on our journey back home to Corpus.

    Unlike all the other checkpoints this guy asks "where are you coming from," "how long were you there," "where are you going" to which I answer "home,""no, what city" my friend answers "Corpus,""where do you work" I say "Walgreens,""all of you work for Walgreens", then my friends say where they work at. Then he asks "may I see inside your trunk. I say "no." He responds "no?," I reply "no, sir." He then stands where with a deer in the headlights look for like 5-10 seconds. He walks around to the back of the car and I think he knocks on the trunk presumable to see if the nonexistant illegals I must be carrying respond. Takes his time to walk all the way around the car and back to my window and then he asks if we all are US citizens, we answer yes and then he says we can go.

    Anyways I usually dont mind answering some questions but if I had to deal with ????ers like that often I definately would become a whole lot less cooperative. I feel sorry for people who live near the border.
     
  23. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Member

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    These are important words on this subject. Many times people get the tickets they demand. When someone makes it clear they are going to be trouble, you don't give them ammo. When I know my actions are going to be scrutinized, I make sure I do everything by the book. The saying is; "Don't make me do my job. You won't like it when I do my job."

    There are those cops who are power hungry jerks. Most cops though are a reflection of you. Polite, courteous, non-threatening behavior will generally be returned to you. On the other hand if the cop is being a jerk, he may just be a reflection.
     
  24. Old Fud

    Old Fud Member

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    I'm speaking from memory, but it's consistent memory.
    Every drivers training manual I've ever read in at least 4 states has reminded me firmly that having a drivers license is a Privilege granted by the state, is NOT a right, and the state will make the rules about whether I may be granted or deprived of that privilege.

    Then it goes on to state that permission to conduct DUI tests is part of the contract that granted me the privilege and if I should renig, then I WILL lose my license immediately.

    At this point I don't recall what is said in the book, but I am living under the firm impression that the consequences of refusing the field test are an inevitable trip to the station/hospital where a test of some kind WILL be administered without my permission, and some kind of citation (with automatic "guilty" attached) will be issued.

    But everything goes back to the idea that you gave permission when you applied for the license.

    Fud.
     
  25. Johnnybgood

    Johnnybgood Member

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    In Illinois If you are convicted of DUI

    They can (and most likley will) revoke your FOID card which means you can not own any firearms. So either Don't Drink and Drive or suffer.
     
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