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Nat'nl Mot'rst Assoc. alert re asserting right to protect your rights in police stops

Mike

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http://alerts.motorists.org/nma-e-newsletter-176-six-simple-words-66415

In recent newsletters we’ve offered tips on how to handle yourself in some very specific and potentially perilous roadside situations (recording police during traffic stops and what to do if asked for a DNA sample). Running throughout is the theme that motorists need to know and assert their civil rights in order to protect themselves from potential abuses by law enforcement.

A recent decision by the Delaware Supreme Court highlights how important this is. The court ruled that police cannot unduly detain a motorist pulled over for a routine violation in order to conduct a more extensive investigation into another crime. “An officer who pulls a car over for speeding does not thereby gain free rein to ask as many questions, for as long a time, as he might wish,” the court’s ruling stated. “Further investigation requires further justification.”

The court went on to state that once the officers concluded their investigation of the initial alleged traffic violation, they had no authority to continue detaining the car and no reason to suspect the driver of additional crimes.

Nonetheless, if the driver had known he was free to leave at this stage, he could have saved himself from a lengthy legal battle. He could have exercised his rights with these six simple words: “Am I free to go now?” But he didn’t, and the officers kept pushing until they found evidence of another crime—evidence that the Delaware Supreme Court ruled inadmissible because of how it was obtained.

The phrase, “Am I free to go now?” should find its way into nearly any roadside interaction you have with police. If you choose to answer questions at a traffic stop (be careful when doing so), one strategy is to end every answer with “Am I free to go now?” It’s an assertion of your rights, and it may prevent a routine stop from escalating into a more serious situation.

The video below shows what can go wrong when a motorist doesn’t assert his rights. The officer stopped the car on the flimsiest of pretenses and proceeded to manipulate the driver into consenting to a full-on vehicle search complete with a “drug-sniffing” dog.

Breakfast in Collinsville (with Michael Reichert) 6680 ratings 401,673 views



How many times could the driver have said “Am I free to go now?” and potentially extricated himself and his passenger from this harrowing experience?

Note also how the officer tried to manufacture reasonable suspicion by claiming the passenger appeared nervous—a ploy likewise repudiated by the Delaware decision. The whole dynamic is reminiscent of a used car salesman manipulating a buyer into a bad deal.

Now watch this video in which a motorist challenges U.S. Border Patrol officers at an immigration checkpoint in Arizona. His choice of phrases differs slightly, but the intent is the same. Notice that he does not get distracted by the officer asking him questions. He stays on task and accomplishes his objective: getting through a roadblock without undue harassment.

Homeland Security Checkpoint: Video Blog - Day 1 1708 ratings 288,240 views


To carry the salesperson analogy a little further, this driver asserted control over the transaction and never relinquished it. And he prevailed. If you go this route, remember to remain calm and don't provoke the officer.

Will the Six Simple Words speed you on your way every time? Perhaps not, but they will demonstrate that you have exercised your rights, which may prove valuable should your traffic stop lead to subsequent legal proceedings. ♦
 

Yard Sale

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"Am I free to go now?”
I understand you are detaining me. I want to leave. Let me know as soon as I am free to go.

If you go this route, remember to remain calm and don't provoke the officer.
Remaining calm while asserting your rights always provokes the officer, in my experience.
 

sudden valley gunner

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Remaining calm while asserting your rights always provokes the officer, in my experience.
Yep and it generates a report full of boiler plate words to taint your character in front of a judge or jury and even your lawyer...confrontational, belligerent, suspicious, nervous, un-cooperative, etc....
 

Logan 5

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I have had a few problems with checkpoints. Cop wants to search? Why? I don't drink (anymore), I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, I don't even chew. Want in my truck? get a warrant. What's this? Reasonable suspicion? Doesn't happen. Do not threaten me with anything you are not willing to take before the judge.

I used to respect cops during checkpoints until Dec. of '93. California Highway Patrol pulled me over just outside of Yreka California and claimed I have hauling drugs in my spare fuel tank. Really? Here's a match, open the tank and take a look. They had me cuffed, face down with nose to the asphalt, couldn't turn my head or I'd get kicked again, no coat and it was sleeting, for close to an hour.

Now, I'll do the bare minimum. Nothing more. I'll be nice, but lie to me and I'll call it right there. Got pulled over by a Colorado Highway Trooper and he wanted to search my truck. He tried telling me that he smelled something. He didn't like my response any- "must be your upper lip." Had to be, I don't do drugs and nothing is on board. He searched anyway and found....nothing.
 

hammer6

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I have had a few problems with checkpoints. Cop wants to search? Why? I don't drink (anymore), I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, I don't even chew. Want in my truck? get a warrant. What's this? Reasonable suspicion? Doesn't happen. Do not threaten me with anything you are not willing to take before the judge.

I used to respect cops during checkpoints until Dec. of '93. California Highway Patrol pulled me over just outside of Yreka California and claimed I have hauling drugs in my spare fuel tank. Really? Here's a match, open the tank and take a look. They had me cuffed, face down with nose to the asphalt, couldn't turn my head or I'd get kicked again, no coat and it was sleeting, for close to an hour.

Now, I'll do the bare minimum. Nothing more. I'll be nice, but lie to me and I'll call it right there. Got pulled over by a Colorado Highway Trooper and he wanted to search my truck. He tried telling me that he smelled something. He didn't like my response any- "must be your upper lip." Had to be, I don't do drugs and nothing is on board. He searched anyway and found....nothing.
i'm confused...why did he "search anyway"?
 

Yard Sale

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Yep and it generates a report full of boiler plate words to taint your character in front of a judge or jury and even your lawyer...confrontational, belligerent, suspicious, nervous, un-cooperative, etc....
Yep and the prosecutor just used it to convict me. I kid you not, she argued my calm demeanor indicated my intent to willfully obstruct officers.
 

sudden valley gunner

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Yep and the prosecutor just used it to convict me. I kid you not, she argued my calm demeanor indicated my intent to willfully obstruct officers.
Sorry to hear that, I have been there, prosecutors don't seem to be interested in justice just winning. Are you going to appeal this? is there anything we can do to help?
 

Yard Sale

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Please see the "one of us?" thread in the Nevada forum. I'm appealing but the appeal bond alone drained my finances. Just getting a transcript is going to cost $500-700.
 

Dreamer

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Yep and it generates a report full of boiler plate words to taint your character in front of a judge or jury and even your lawyer...confrontational, belligerent, suspicious, nervous, un-cooperative, etc....

Which is why we should ALWAYS have a digital voice recorder at the ready--not just when OCing on foot.

Nothing changes the course of justice in your favor faster than a recording of the assailant's own voice speaking words of abuse and lies...
 

Dreamer

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Now, I'll do the bare minimum. Nothing more. I'll be nice, but lie to me and I'll call it right there. Got pulled over by a Colorado Highway Trooper and he wanted to search my truck. He tried telling me that he smelled something. He didn't like my response any- "must be your upper lip." Had to be, I don't do drugs and nothing is on board. He searched anyway and found....nothing.

Lucky for you.

In some jurisdictions, they carry baggies of "preemptive evidence" in their shirt pockets to toss in your vehicle, just in case they DON'T find what they are looking for...

http://rt.com/usa/news/planting-utica-car-pocket-215/
 
Last edited:

hermannr

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davidmcbeth

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Yep and it generates a report full of boiler plate words to taint your character in front of a judge or jury and even your lawyer...confrontational, belligerent, suspicious, nervous, un-cooperative, etc....
I've called cops every name under the book when I thought they deserved it .. they never bring this up in court .. you have no duty to be nice, no law requiring it...and if a cop says "he called me an a****ole" then you can tell the court why ... then the court will say "man, this cop was an a****ole!"

I have said on occasion to real winner cops, "I hope you get shot in the head today!" .. and I have heard cops say that to other cops too .... freedom of speech, gotta love it
 

tyc

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Please see the "one of us?" thread in the Nevada forum. I'm appealing but the appeal bond alone drained my finances. Just getting a transcript is going to cost $500-700.
Do NOT pay for the transcript.

File a petition with the court indicating you have no money.

Don't understand this? Get a court appointed attorney.

Hope this helps.

tyc
 

tyc

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Pocono Mountains of PA
http://alerts.motorists.org/nma-e-newsletter-176-six-simple-words-66415

A recent decision by the Delaware Supreme Court highlights how important this is. The court ruled that police cannot unduly detain a motorist pulled over for a routine violation in order to conduct a more extensive investigation into another crime. “An officer who pulls a car over for speeding does not thereby gain free rein to ask as many questions, for as long a time, as he might wish,” the court’s ruling stated. “Further investigation requires further justification.”

CITATIONS? ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, WHEN QUOTING FROM ACTUAL CASE LAW - GIVE THE FULL CITATION; WHO V. WHO, ETC


The phrase, “Am I free to go now?” should find its way into nearly any roadside interaction you have with police.

EXCELLENT ADVICE!



If you choose to answer questions at a traffic stop ...

NEVER, EVER TALK TO THE POLICE ... UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ... JUST SHUT UP.

IT IS YOUR 5TH AMENDMENT RIGHT NOT TO TALK TO THE POLICE AND SHOULD YOU FOR ANY REASON OPEN YOUR BIG MOUTH ...
... YOU CAN NOT BELIEVE THE TROUBLE YOU CAN GET INTO.

JUST SHUT UP ... BE POLITE AT ALL TIMES BUT KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT ... JUST SHUT UP.

tyc
 
Last edited:

Cubex DE

Regular Member
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Feb 13, 2011
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Spokane, WA
NEVER, EVER TALK TO THE POLICE ... UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ... JUST SHUT UP.

IT IS YOUR 5TH AMENDMENT RIGHT NOT TO TALK TO THE POLICE AND SHOULD YOU FOR ANY REASON OPEN YOUR BIG MOUTH ...
... YOU CAN NOT BELIEVE THE TROUBLE YOU CAN GET INTO.

JUST SHUT UP ... BE POLITE AT ALL TIMES BUT KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT ... JUST SHUT UP.
+1. See my recent topic about keeping your stupid mouth shut.
 

tyc

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
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Location
Pocono Mountains of PA
... it generates a report full of boiler plate words to taint your character in front of a judge or jury and even your lawyer...confrontational, belligerent, suspicious, nervous, un-cooperative, etc....
You can do the very same thing with them. Have a look at the LAW PAGE, specifically, "Practicing Pro Se". Download it and at your liesure, if you can't find some "meat" in just that little volume of case law exerpts, I for one would be very surprised.

tyc
 

tyc

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
137
Location
Pocono Mountains of PA
... ALWAYS have a digital voice recorder ... ready--not just when OCing on foot.
Nothing changes the course of justice in your favor faster than a recording of the assailant's own voice speaking words of abuse and lies...
B I N G O !

And tape recorders - some of which are quite small and record for a very long time - are so inexpensive these days, so why not have one on you at all times?

tyc
 
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