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Did I mention that you shouldn't consent to searches?

I had a great time last night speaking to the Illinois State University chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. We had a wonderful discussion, and then watched 10 Rules for Dealing with Police

And, of course, one of the most important things you learn in that video (which I’ve been preaching for years) is “I don’t consent to searches” — a very important phrase that isn’t just for those with something to hide.

Remember that the innocent do not benefit from searches either.

  1. The search wastes your time.
  2. The search takes up the time of the officers, who should be out solving crime rather than wasting taxpayer dollars searching the car of an innocent person.
  3. Police may not be responsible for damage to any of your belongings as a result of the search.
  4. If anyone ever rode in your car and something illegal fell out of their pocket, you’re screwed.
  5. And now

… the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that when a driver gave DPS troopers consent to search his vehicle, they were justified in taking out a screwdriver and dismantling his car speakers on the side of the road to look for drugs.

Remember, when police say that they will make sure things go easier on you if you consent, they are lying. They’re allowed to do that.

And, of course, don’t forget this Deep Thought:

Sometimes people say I shouldn’t mind being searched if I have nothing to hide. I immediately accuse them of having a swastika tattooed on their genitalia — if they have nothing to hide, then surely they shouldn’t mind dropping their pants to prove me wrong.

(You probably shouldn’t actually try using that with the cops.)

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4 comments to Did I mention that you shouldn’t consent to searches?

  • permanentilt

    at least they used a screwdriver…..

  • claygooding

    When you say no to a search of your vehicle,most of the time they will make you sit there until the K-9 unit shows up to do a walk around.
    Hopefully it will be done honestly without the handler signaling the dog to “alert”. If the dog does “alert”,
    be prepared to have your vehicle dismantled if they don’t find anything with a simple look through.
    After it is all over and if no drugs are found,you can spend the next hour possibly throwing your possessions and upholstery back into the car,so you can drive home and spend a day putting your car back in order.
    The best way to avoid all this is the simplest,drive right! Don’t give law enforcement any reason to be talking to you in the first place.
    I have found that talking to policemen ends up costing you money and time whether you get a ticket or not,regardless of the cause. That extra 30 seconds to the office or home could cost you hours,and possibly years to get over.

    off topic but a good read:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/campaign/93323-its-high-time-to-end-marijuana-prohibition

    And Pete has the perfect answer to the drugged driving push:
    The drunk driver speeds through the stop sign without seeing it.
    The stoned driver stops and patiently waits for it to turn green.
    Thank you for that one Pete,and I think every driver in Dallas should be required to smoke a joint before they can drive too or from work.

  • Ed Dunkle

    Okay, this morning I received a phone call: “Hello, this is the police, please let us in the building.”

    I mumbled “ummm”, and hit nine on the phone and somebody came into the condo complex. I have no further info. Did I do wrong?

  • kaptinemo

    Clay, I used to live in a similar situation, where a non-resident had to press the button of a specific resident’s apartment on the door announcer to dial their phones.

    I ALWAYS used my answering machine to screen the calls, as the cops were fond of pulling ‘knock-and-talk’ ‘fishing expeditions’ on the residents (most of whom were Hispanic, didn’t know about basic rights, and whose Inglese wasn’t so good, so they were easy targets).

    Since, in almost all cases, whoever was trying for entry would not leave a message, they’d receive no response.

    A good rule of thumb about your home: Cops in, rights out. That’s about as succinct as can be made.