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Twin Cities Carry Forum Archive • View topic - Car Searches...A general question
 
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 Car Searches...A general question 
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 Post subject: Car Searches...A general question
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:02 am 
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I see reports like this:
26TH & Emerson Av N 03:45 hrs 09-102449
Officers stop a car and the driver is revoked. An inventory search is done on the car and officers recover a loaded gun. Two were booked. (Listed under Weapons)

in the MPD weekly report. My question, does getting pulled over without a valid license allow officers to perform an inventory search without cause? What if I had a passenger with me who could drive the car home? Does the standard "I do not consent to any searches." have any validity in this situation?

I am hoping some of the atty's could chime in.

Obviously, we all try to keep our DL's current, but should an unforeseen issue arise, someone may find the knowledge useful. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:19 am 
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The inventory search would be done prior to a tow, after an arrest.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:34 am 
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If the car is going to be impounded. Yes. The appropriate use of an inventory search is to list the items in the car. This sould be done before the tow truck hooks it up. The appropriate use of an inventory search is to document what items are in the car, so that the tow truck driver (who could pull off and loot the car on the way to impound, but probably wouldn't) and the officers (who could pocket anything, but probably wouldn't unless they work for MPD) are protected from allegations of theft. The appropriate use of an inventory search is to protect those enforcing the law or towing cars from allegations that there WAS a case of Rolex watches in the trunk & dude in the hoopdie was going to get his life put back together just as soon as he sold those watches.

In short, an inventory search is only appropriate if the car is being impounded.

Of course that won't stop some officers from abusing the power or deciding not to impound the car afterall, after the inventory search. :wink: :wink: nudge.

This is coming from a four year Criminal Justice degree, not a lawyer.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:10 pm 
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The fact that they characterized it as an inventory "search" suggests that they were motivated by something other than the desire to protect themselves against false allegations of wrong doing.

-Search, suggests looking for something in particular (i.e. evidence of criminal activity).

-Inventory, suggests simply noting whether anything is present.

-Inventory search, suggests using the excuse of noting whether anything is present to in fact look for something in particular (i.e. evidence of criminal activity).

At least they are being honest...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Never, ever consent to any search whatever reason they give.

If they HAVE authority, they'll search anyway. Once you "consent" all your constitutional rights against an illegal search go out the window. BTW, IIRC, an inventory search cannot go into locked storage devices, such as a briefcase. They are supposed to just put "1 black briefcase, locked" on the inventory and take the briefcase into custody.

Don't talk to them, just say "I want a lawyer and I do not consent to any searches."


Last edited by kimberman on Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Quote:
BTW, IIRC, an inventory search cannot go into locked storage devices, such as a briefcase. They are supposed to just put "1 black briefcase, locked" on the inventory and take the briefcase into custody.
Very good point. I thought about adding something to the effect that they can't go into like the headliners and behind consoles, places where drugs are normally hidden but not where honest folk tend to keep stuff. The locked case thing is a very solid point (especially for those with gun safes under their seats) though if your ignition key opens something like your locked glovebox or trunk, they'd still be good to go in there. That's a distinction that could mean the difference between merely having to get a car out of impound along with the gun in the safe and having to get the car out of impound and having MPD plant your gun on a dead kid or just a mountain of red tape and delays, neither of which is good.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:45 pm 
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isn't it something called "search incident to arrest" if the officers are going to remove you from your vehicle and tow it, they have to take inventory of what is in the car. The other posters wrapped everything up quite nicely...I agree, while it might appear to piss off the cop, never consent to a search, you waive all of your rights as the others have stated.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Everyone agrees not to consent. But if you do, you can always retract your consent at any time, for any reason. They must stop if they are doing a consensual search.

There is a "search incident to arrest" that does not require your consent.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Quote:
But if you do, you can always retract your consent at any time, for any reason. They must stop if they are doing a consensual search.
Yes, and that would be meaningful if the officer searching your car could hear you while you are in the back seat of his. Add to that the well renowned police power of selective hearing and . . . . once it starts good luck retracting. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:34 am 
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adcap wrote:
Everyone agrees not to consent. But if you do, you can always retract your consent at any time, for any reason. They must stop if they are doing a consensual search.


This is the one thing I try to tell all my friends, If for any reason what so ever you said "yes, search it" you can at anytime say "Officer I retract my consent to search my car". The constitution is there for your protection, learn to use it.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:56 am 
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Quote:
The constitution is there for your protection, learn to use it.


The Constitution was there for your protection, by God's grace one day it may be again . . . but I have had a painful education in the dispairity between the law as written and what is done beyond the law by bent civil servants. You can learn from my mistake or ignore me, but if you ignore and it bites you in the butt. . . I reserve the right to say "hah, hah, told you so". Do NOT ever consent to ANY search. Never let them in your door.

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Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a
lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become
a law unto himself; it invites anarchy .” Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:09 am 
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johnnyg08 wrote:
isn't it something called "search incident to arrest" if the officers are going to remove you from your vehicle and tow it, they have to take inventory of what is in the car.


No. A search incident to arrest is limited to a search for weapons on or near your person, so that the arrest can be effected safely. It does not permit extensive searching.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:37 am 
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An arrest gives probable cause to search a vehicle, whether the arrestee was the driver or a passenger. Whether to search a vehicle is up to the arresting officer. I've witnessed both cases in which someone was arrested and in one case, the vehicle was searched and, subsequently, impounded. In the other, the vehicle was remanded to the arrestee's girlfriend, no search having been performed.

There is a lot that is left to an officer's discretion.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:27 am 
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ecrist wrote:
An arrest gives probable cause to search a vehicle, whether the arrestee was the driver or a passenger.


It's not that simple...

The allowed scope of the search is based on a number of factors, some of which are dictated by law, some of which are based on planetary alignment. PC can exist if the officer has reason to believe that there is evidence in the car of a crime having been committed. What does that mean? It depends, of course.

Keep an eye on Arizona v. Gant.

Kimberman is (as usual) correct. Never consent. Never. NEVER NEVER NEVER. Make certain that you are being very clear that you do NOT consent to any search.

Consenting WILL negatively impact your legal options later on.

-Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:50 pm 
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kimberman wrote:
Never, ever consent to any search whatever reason they give.

If they HAVE authority, they'll search anyway. Once you "consent" all your constitutional rights against an illegal search go out the window. BTW, IIRC, an inventory search cannot go into locked storage devices, such as a briefcase. They are supposed to just put "1 black briefcase, locked" on the inventory and take the briefcase into custody.

Don't talk to them, just say "I want a lawyer and I do not consent to any searches."


Just do this. Don't get fancy, don't decide you'll let them search a little bit, then stop.

Every lawyer will tell you the same thing. What part of "Don't talk to them" just say "I want a lawyer and I do not consent to any search" can't people understand?

(If there was really a better way to do it, the lawyers like Kimberman would have figured that out by now.)

This system for handling police does not need any "improvement".

The cop will try to get you off system but if you stand pat, he'll know you know what you are doing and respect you.


Last edited by Dick Unger on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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