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Know your rights!...down with the fuzz!

Discussion in 'Seasoned Tokers' started by NuBBiN, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. How to Flex Your Rights during Police Encounters

    All people should be trained to assert their constitutional rights in order to avoid the hassle and humiliation of police misconduct and illegal searches.

    According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report on citizen-police contacts, about 21 percent of the population age 16 years or older-or about 44 million people-had contact with the police during 1999. More than half of these face-to-face interactions occurred because of traffic stops.

    Of the 19.3 million traffic stops documented in the study, about 1.3 million motorists said they or their vehicle had been searched. In almost 90% of these searches, police found no evidence of a crime whatsoever! There is reason to believe that many, if not most, of these searches could have been avoided if the motorist had properly asserted his or her rights by refusing to consent to a warrantless search.

    So how do you assert your constitutional rights when a police officer pulls you over or stops you on the street? If you follow these basic rules you can reduce the probability of having your civil rights violated by a police officer conducting an illegal search, and you will improve your chances of driving or walking away safely.

    1). Keep Your Private Items Out of View
    This is common sense: Always keep any private items that you don't want others to see out of sight. Legally speaking, police do not need a search warrant in order to confiscate any illegal items that are in plain view.

    2). Be Courteous & Non-Confrontational
    If you are pulled over, the first thing you should to do is turn your car off, turn the dome light on (if it's nighttime), roll down the window, and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Don't immediately reach into your glove compartment for your license and registration. Officers want to be able to see your hands for their own safety. Wait until the officer asks to see your paperwork before retrieving your documents.

    The first thing you should say to the officer is, “Hello officer. Can you tell me why I am being pulled over?” The officer may give you a hard time or say, “Why do you think I pulled you over?” Tell the officer you don't know. Most importantly, do not apologize after you get stopped, because that can be considered an admission of guilt and could be used against you later in court.

    Show your identification if it's requested. Be respectful and non-confrontational. Refer to the police as “Sir,” “Ma'am,” or “Officer.” Remain calm and quiet while the officer is reviewing your documents. If the officer writes you a ticket, accept it quietly and never complain. Listen to any instruction on paying the fine or contesting the ticket, and drive away slowly.

    3). Just Say “No” to an Illegal Search
    Warning: If a police officer asks your permission to search, you are under no obligation to consent. The only reason he's asking you is because he doesn't have enough evidence to search without your consent. If you consent to a search request you give up one of the most important constitutional rights you have-your Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    A majority of avoidable police searches occur because citizens naively waive their Fourth Amendment rights by consenting to warrantless searches. As a general rule, if a person consents to a warrantless search, the search automatically becomes reasonable and therefore legal. Consequently, whatever an officer finds during such a search can be used to convict the person.

    Don't expect a police officer to tell you about your right not to consent. Police officers are not required by law to inform you of your rights before asking you to consent to a search. In addition, police officers are trained to use their authority to get people to consent to a search, and most people are predisposed to comply with any request a police officer makes. For example, the average motorist stopped by a police officer who asks them, “Would you mind if I search your vehicle, please?” will probably consent to the officer's search without realizing that they have every right to deny the officer's request.

    If, for any reason you don't want the officer digging through your belongings, you should refuse to consent by saying something like, “Officer, I have private, personal items in my [car, backpack, etc.] and do not want you looking through them.” If the officer still proceeds to search you and find illegal contraband, your attorney can argue that the contraband was discovered through an illegal search and hence should be thrown out of court.

    You should never hesitate to assert your constitutional rights. Just say “no!”

    4). Determine if You Can Leave
    You have the right to terminate an encounter with a police officer unless you are being detained under police custody or have been arrested. The general rule is that you don't have to answer any questions that the police ask you. This rule comes from the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects you against self-incrimination. If you cannot tell if you are allowed to leave, say to the officer, “I have to be on my way. Am I free to go?”

    If the officer says “Yes,” tell him to have a nice day, and leave immediately. If the officer's answer is ambiguous, or if he asks you another unrelated question, persist by asking “am I being detained, or can I go now?” If the officer says “No,” you are being detained, and you may be placed under arrest. If this is the case, reassert your rights as outlined above, and follow Rules #5 and #6.

    5). Do Not Answer Questions without Your Attorney Present
    There is no reason to worry that your failure to answer the officer's questions will later be used against you. The truth is just the opposite: Anything you say can, and probably will, be used against you.

    In just about any case imaginable, a person is best off not answering any questions about his involvement in anything illegal. Assert your Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights by saying these exact words: “I want an attorney and will remain silent until one is provided.”

    6). Do Not Physically Resist
    If the police proceed to detain, search, or arrest you despite your wishes-do not physically resist. You may state clearly but non-confrontationally: “Officer, I am not resisting arrest and I do not consent to any searches.” Or you may assert your rights by simply saying nothing until you can speak with an attorney.

    Remember: In any given police encounter, with a few notable exceptions, the above rules will help protect your civil rights-so you don't have to be a legal expert to say and do the right thing.
  2. i could use someone from the uk to do give the same speach for our laws.

    i recently got done for smoking weed in public ... which i only did because i was drunk. but foolishly in my drunkness i claimed protection under the human rights act (which i then realised didn't count as i was quoting the segment about anything goes in the privacy of your own home) but the rest of my jargon certainly put the cops on their toes. even pulled them up for saying "reefer" stating that the term was racist adn dates back to when white folks tried to undermine and demonise the mexican and black imigrants to america!! that one still cracks me up..... hehehehehe u shoulda seen their faces!

    anyways i got a £50 bribe (or "fine" as they call it) not to take me to court. if my brother hadn't moved to america i wouldn't have payed it. i need a clean sheet to get over there to visit my new lil neice/nefew later on this year and i know that had i not made this early admision of guilt (paying the fine) they would have just made an example of me. although once i see the little sprog and come back any further tussles i have with the law i will be making my full political statement in court regardless of whether they want to send me down or if i can "get away with it" on medical, religious and human rights issues.
  3. I have read instructions on talking to the popo about searching before but this is one of the best ones. Thanks.
  4. What if you're not 18?
  5. If youre under 18 you still have the same constitutional rights as any other American
  6. Yeah, thanks for posting this NuBBiN. I have seen a list similar to this and was going to look for it for a friend but you saved me some time so therefore, despite the damn avatar, you kick ass. At least for now...until the freak begins to invade my thoughts again.
  7. Yep ..old article...from NORML...still worth reading...to bad all the rights in the world won't get you out of that damn squad car....lol..

    I sugget you guys read the Anti terrorism bill.....it rips illegal search and siezure apart..

    If you are pulled over,and you are clean,,refuse the search,,you possibly will have to wait for a canine unit,,if the dog sounds off,,they are going in,,,,after your in cuffs..if not..he may set you free with some other ticket,or a bad attitude from him...


  8. yeah... totally. cops are corrupt... and may try to get u anyway (and i know plenty of courts that are corrupt enough to back the cops no matter if they know otherwise) but with the anti-terrorism bill it's like making corrupt cop action legal!!!

    this may not be the most popular opinion (it certainly wasnt when i came up with it on the 19 sept 2001), but i think i'll make it here after seeing some other disturbing leaked reports about a certain government..
    I still think that we should not rule out the possability that sept11 was orchestrated in part or full by the US government, osama has not been captured... he was trained by the CIA. too many lines of propaganda since could fit directly into protecting themselves from any blame for this... I always knew the world was going to suffer great losses once bush stole power.

    hey! i did warn u it wasn't the most popular opinion.

  9. Don't people get kicked out of GC for being not 18?
  10. Thanks for the info man that was a great help much props
  11. oh and im also realy diggin your signature. so fucking true
  12. This thread backs all the way to 2002! HAHA... damn stoners :smoke:

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