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You get stopped in your car by a cop, and he asks permission to search... what now?

Discussion in 'Seasoned Marijuana Users' started by idioteque, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. #1 idioteque, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009

    Before you automatically say "refuse to give consent!", hear me out on this:

    I was watching "Never Get Busted Again" and found it interesting that he said "you hear time and time again, when a cop asks you if he can search your vehicle, refuse refuse refuse. That's not what I recommend."

    He recommended taking the time and effort to hide things in hard-to-get-to locations, and said that you should give the officer consent to search because he will almost always do a very basic search of the most obvious and easy-to-reach spots (glove compartments, ash trays, center console, under seats, in the trunk, spare tire wheel well, any bags/containers in the car, etc). Make it hard to get to and its more likely he won't put the effort into exploring that area and will send you on your way.

    He said that on the other hand, if you refuse consent, this is the biggest red flag to the officer that you have something to hide. The officer will assume you have contraband and will find a way to get into your car. He will likely call in a K9 unit and many other officers to the scene. The dogs can always be made to "alert" to the presence of contraband regardless of whether they actually smell it. Once they do, the police have all probable cause they need to spend as long as they want, tearing your car apart.

    Of course, if you give consent to search you are giving consent for the officer to search every single square inch of your vehicle, taking as long as he/she wants. However, it is possible that consenting (provided you keep your cool and don't seem nervous) will make you less suspicious, giving the officer less motivation to do a long, thorough search.

    Have any of you guys (or someone you know) been in a situation where you've had to make this decision? What choice did you make, and what happened?
  2. Why type so much if its just going to get deleted for being in the wrong section.
  3. #3 idioteque, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
    What section do you suggest?

    It's not about legalization so it doesn't belong in the law section.

    However, I do ask for people's experiences with this decision, so it does fit the description of this section, which says, "please share your vast knowledge of the herb and discuss your adventures with Mary Jane".
  4. Dude chill out... seriously.

  5. wowdick
  6. Whenever I drive with weed in the car, I make sure that it's small amounts so I can crotch it.
  7. It hasnt happened yet, but I cant wait till i'm driving around with nothing illegal on me, and get pulled over and dont consent to the search.

    I want to make the cop think I have something, make him waste his time tearing through my car. Then he'll look like an idiot after, when he didnt find anything.
  8. Wowtroll...

    Dont worry about me im chill.

    Neg repping people feels nice.

    OP I sent you a pm
  9. I have to agree. Take the time to hide it well, hope to hell you don't get pulled over, but if you do, consent to a search. They will either find it in the search or let you go sooner.

    One rule that I try to live by is don't break other laws if you have marijuana on you. Make sure you are not speeding, driving erraticaly, or have a broken taillight etc...
    Also, be polite.

    You might want to fact-check this, but:
    If they are searching for a weapon on you and find drugs, you can deny that the drugs are yours. so long as you don't take them back its not possession. Like it said, make sure this is true.
  10. #10 idioteque, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
    I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is *not* the case. The weapons pat-down is known as a "Terry stop" or a "stop-and-frisk". How it works is: if police have "reasonable suspicion" that someone has a weapon, they can pat them down to check for one (the power to do that search comes from the Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, see

    Note two things: first, "reasonable suspicion" is an easier standard to prove than "probable cause". There are cases which have even held that it was "reasonable suspicion" to be a white guy in an all-black neighborhood, and vice versa. Second, even though Terry style stop-and-frisks are meant to check for weapons, anything else illegal that the police find during that stop can be confiscated. I have read many, many decisions based on Terry-stop pat-downs where drugs were found incidentally to the weapons search, and the person was charged with possession.

    Example: Officer approaches some youths standing on a street corner at night. As he approaches he sees one of the youths quickly stuff something into his pocket. This isn't "probable cause" that a crime is being committed, but it is "reasonable suspicion" -- the youth might've been hiding a weapon -- and so the officer can do a Terry stop-and-frisk. The officer pats down the youth, and while he is doing so he feels a baggy that "in light of the officer's experience, feels like marijuana"(this is usually the language they use, though I disagree that marijuana necessarily has an "obvious" feel). He reaches in the pocket and pulls out marijuana. This results in an open-and-shut possession case. This scenario happens hundreds, if not thousands of times, every single day across America.

    Other cases have given the police the right to "stop and frisk" your vehicle -- meaning that if they have reasonable suspicion for a weapon, they can pat-down the occupants of the vehicle, AND they can inspect the passenger area of the vehicle.

    If the drugs are on your person or within your "constructive possession" (example: somewhere in the car you are driving, see, denying that they are yours is meaningless. They will be assumed to be yours.
  11. I have never understood why people say not to give consent.

    The cops are already there and are going to get into your car one way or another if He/she thinks something is in there worth his/her time.

    To me its common sense that that just cause you said no doesn't mean its not going to happen,remember when your dealing with police what they want matters, not the other way around.No just means that yes there is something in my car officer but I don't want to you to find it by conducting a search, not that a search will not be taking place cause I said no.

    If I were stopped with weed in the car and I knew by a simple search it will be found I would strait up and tell him where it is and how much is in the bag.

    Now If I knew it was hidden and hide well Id tell him to knock himself out.
  12. #12 idioteque, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
    I think the hope is that the police will make a big procedural mistake, and that your attorney will be able to have the evidence suppressed as the product of an illegal search. This does happen sometimes but it is rare.

    The question you have to ask yourself is, is it worth taking that chance? If you choose to fight it, you will still (1) be arrested and jailed until you bond out, and (2) have to either spend several thousand on a lawyer or take your chances with an over-worked Public Defender.

    In my opinion, refusing consent then "fighting the case" is only a realistic option if you are facing felony charges or if your attorney notices a REALLY big mistake the police made that can turn your case around. Otherwise you will probably do better by taking a plea. In many places, first-time misdemeanor possession charges can be avoided by going through a pre-trial diversion program (you agree to be drug tested for a period of time, usually 6 months to a year, and go to outpatient rehab classes). If you complete the program successfully then the charges are dropped. If no pre-trial diversion program is available, you will probably not serve a jail sentence if it is your first offense.

    There is always a risk and a burden (in both time and money) in fighting a case. Weigh that risk against the punishment you're likely to face, and make a decision.

  13. If you plan on getting a lawyer and arguing a defense based around an "unlawful search", its an absolute necessity.

    Yeah, even if you say it the cop can still search, but its not about that.
    Not giving consent is setting yourself up for a defense in court later.

    Obviously, if you plan on pleading guilty and just taking probation/fines whatever, then its pointless to not give consent. As mentioned, if you give consent its more likely that the cop will not search thoroughly enough to find anything, if its well hidden.
  14. happened to my brother 2 nights ago .. the cop said he wouldnt do anything if he gave him all thebud right now .. so he did he gave him a 40 bag .. the cop still searched the car and found 14 other grams brother was then put in cuffs and held in a cell for a half hour waiting on his sentence.. he got arrested for possesion of small amounts of marijuana but not for the pariphinilia they found in the glove box back seat nd trunk.. idk wat thats all about mabey the cop wanted a new peice:rolleyes:
  15. I used to get pulled over all the time in the town I used to live in. I would always deny consent to search. It's funny they will usually find some "reason" to be able to search the car anyways. I love it though because they never find it (I used to put it in my steering column) and just look like an ass.

    I have had two times where a cop did not search my car because I did not consent. One cop kept asking why I wouldn't let him search and would not let us leave. I let him search me and my girlfriend but not the car and we got off. The other time me and my friends got pulled over with a little beer in our system. He searched my friends cars and found alcohol. I had liquor and weed in my car and denied the search. I was the only one that didn't lose their license.

    I think a person should never consent to a search. If they are going to search anyways then you might as well tell them you do not consent. If you get busted, your lawyer will obtain the police video and prove you did not consent. My cousin got a possession charge and a DUI charge dropped because of unlawful search proven in court.
  16. about a quarter was in the center console, and i got pulled over. he asked to search and i said i dont consent to any searches. he let me go...
  17. well you got pretty lucky
    how much did the lawyer cost him?
  18. That's if the police have dash cameras where you live. Not all police departments have them or use them. In that situation it is your word against the police officer's.
  19. No idea. I'm guessing a couple thousand all together. I don't know if he got any of his lawyer fee's paid for.

    He did say next time he will get a cheap lawyer and request a police tape. He said the police tapes pretty much made it an open and shut case. He was clearly asking the police officer why he was pulled over and denying a search. The lawyer costs were definalty worth it though because he was caught with a large amount of marijuana and several cases of beer (he is a minor). A little bit of bud would have been no big deal.

    His lawyer said if they don't turn over a tape or if it is "missing" the said incident, then the charges will be dismissed for tampering with evidence.

    I'm sure it's much more complicated than this, I have not gone through it personally.
  20. very true

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