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Join the conversation! There are now 15 comments on “Police vs Privacy pg 66
  1. Jason says

    Tell him what he’s won!

  2. “Did he consent to the search?”
    “Sure did, your honor, the sign came down and everything.”
    “Did you blow the noisemaker?”
    “Well, actually…”
    “Case dismissed!”

  3. Tualha says

    What’s the point of having a 4th amendment if you don’t use it?

  4. quoodle says

    The cops are only assuming that’s the trunk – in a lot o custom cars and some old antiques that could be the engine back there.

    Fool me once….

    • I would love to see a police officer request to check the trunk (pointing to the rear) in a rear-engined car and then laugh my butt off at them.

      I have a question, though. Are there varying levels of consent? If I consent to searching a trunk, does that mean the entire car? The inside of my colon? The colon inside my home?

      • I once read in Readers Digest, (All in a days work section,) of a customs official sticking to his guns to check the BACK end of a beetle. All while the driver was trying to tell him that on volkswagon beatles, the trunk is in the front…
        ..he found two bottles of alcohol, wrapped in tin foil, snugged in beside the engine.

      • Your consent to search stops whenever you want. You can allow him in the trunk and then 5 minutes later say “I take it back, I don’t want you searching there anymore”. However, if the cops have PC (say they just saw somebody’s arm sticking out of a bag), your refusal isn’t going to stop anything.

        Furthermore, consent to search your car on the side of the road doesn’t mean they can come to your house later and just start rifling through your things (or even your car again).

  5. Vu says

    Why would this be a trick? If the driver had anything to hide, they wouldn’t give consent, would they? …. Or…. *would* they?
    They might be under the impression that refusing the officers equates with acting suspiciously, which might be the ‘trick’ he’s talking about and relying on.

    • The “trick” is to always ask, all the time, for everything. There’s nothing ever stopping a cop from asking consent for anything, and they can usually do it after consent is given. That’s innocent enough, but a lot of the time they will imply that it’s not a request, that they are telling you in the form of a question, like by continually asking in an authoritative tone or trying to insinuate it as a demand even though it is phrased as, and technically still, a question.

      While I know this is a common tactic, and it seems legal, is it really? How much burden is on the police to let you know that what they are doing is asking permission?

      • Well, I know that in my state (NJ), not that long ago the State Supreme Court ruled that police *aren’t* even allowed to ask to search your vehicle during a routine traffic stop without suspicion, the idea being that since a traffic stop is itself coercive, you can’t really give meaningful consent during one.

    • Apparently, lots of people assume they have to say yes, or that if they say yes the cops’ll be ashamed and not go through with it, or… I don’t even know.

  6. Jack says

    If the guy realizes that giving the consent was a bad idea, he can always revoke it at any time.

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