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  1. #1

    Default Search of Vehicle

    My question involves search and seizure law in the State of: MI


    Hello all,

    I was pulled over recently for speeding. The officer came to my car, told me I was speeding to which I replied "Yes I was sir" A few seconds later the officer asked to search my car. I had nothing in the vehicle so I wasn't worried about it. My question is if I would've not allowed him to search the car what would've been the next step. There was no reason for him to search it, no smell, nothing visible. How do officers usually respond when you tell them they can not search the car?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Quote Quoting matchstick00
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    I was pulled over recently for speeding. The officer came to my car, told me I was speeding to which I replied "Yes I was sir" A few seconds later the officer asked to search my car. I had nothing in the vehicle so I wasn't worried about it. My question is if I would've not allowed him to search the car what would've been the next step. There was no reason for him to search it, no smell, nothing visible. How do officers usually respond when you tell them they can not search the car?
    If you refused and he had no probable cause to search the car, then you should be allowed to go on your way.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    About half just end the encounter and leave. About a quarter will immediately search the car anyway. About a quarter will start questioning you about what you are hiding and then search or not depending upon whether they think you are well educated and respectful, or not well well educated or not respectful.

    Legally, the appropriate thing to do is for the policeman to end the encounter and leave. However, the reality is that if you don't have contraband then you won't sue over the search because it came up empty. If you do have contraband, then the policeman can just make up probable cause -- after all, the person in the car had the marijuana -- who is a judge going to believe at the suppression hearing? The policeman, of course.

    Policemen get promoted by how much marijuana they find, so they need to search if they want to get ahead. There are many policemen who are willing to bend the rules on roadside car searches -- probably about half. really, there is nothing anyone can do about it. It is simply too difficult, or impossible, to get the audio and video from the dashcam for a simple vehicle search that came up empty.

    perhaps the best answer to "can I search" is this:

    1. I get to video record your every move of the searcher while searching; and

    2. I can withdraw consent, and the search will stop immediately, if I feel that your search is damaging my vehicle.

    I have this offer printed on a card in my wallet. If they want consent, you may as well bargain and get yourself some evidence if they misbehave.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    3,835

    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Quote Quoting matchstick00
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    My question involves search and seizure law in the State of: MI


    Hello all,

    I was pulled over recently for speeding. The officer came to my car, told me I was speeding to which I replied "Yes I was sir" A few seconds later the officer asked to search my car. I had nothing in the vehicle so I wasn't worried about it. My question is if I would've not allowed him to search the car what would've been the next step. There was no reason for him to search it, no smell, nothing visible. How do officers usually respond when you tell them they can not search the car?
    The "minimal" intrusion to detain and ask such question has been permitted by the US SC.

    When you refuse and further questions arise as the officer saying such as "why, what do you have to hide" it then probably becomes an UNreasonable seizure under the 4th AM.

    If prolonged due to the officer's attitude then we get into a more complex violation.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Now, in all reality if I tell an officer I want to record him I doubt he will allow that. Maybe in certain areas but not Detroit. What if I decline the search, the officer opens the door pulls me out and starts searching. He then finds marijuana, is this considered illegal search and seizure? Can I still be charged for the marijuana even though the search was illegal?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Quote Quoting matchstick00
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    Now, in all reality if I tell an officer I want to record him I doubt he will allow that. Maybe in certain areas but not Detroit.
    If Michigan is a "one party" state for recordings, it does not matter if he likes it or not. If it is a "two party" state, he must consent, and telling him you are recording it and he continues is NOT consent, IMO.

    What if I decline the search, the officer opens the door pulls me out and starts searching. He then finds marijuana, is this considered illegal search and seizure? Can I still be charged for the marijuana even though the search was illegal?
    IF he has probable cause to search, your permission is not needed (emphasis added for state constitutional provisions for scope).

    The federal "Exclusionary rule" was made applicable to the states in Mapp v. Ohio, 1961.

    Evidence obtained from an UNconstitutional search is most generally thrown out, what is called Suppression of the evidence, "fruit of the poisonous tree".

  7. #7

    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    y.

    Understand that if I pull you over, I do not HAVE to tell you why. There comes a time - usually AFTER we have your license and paperwork - that we will, but there is no legal obligation to inform you of the reason for the stop.

    So, what happens when soon as you get to my car I ask you why you pulled me over? Basically your saying these days a person can be pulled over for no reason right?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Quote Quoting matchstick00
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    So, what happens when soon as you get to my car I ask you why you pulled me over? Basically your saying these days a person can be pulled over for no reason right?
    No. I am saying that I do not have to TELL you why I pulled you over. I must have a lawful reason, but I am under no legal obligation to advise you of that reason and enter into an argument over that reason.

    The most common training technique for dealing with traffic stops involves not advising a driver of why they are stopped at least until after the officer has already received the driver's license and any other required documents in hand. At that point, the officer is encouraged (but not required ... at least not in any state I am aware of) to advise the driver of the reason for the stop.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Search of Vehicle

    Quote Quoting matchstick00
    View Post
    My question involves search and seizure law in the State of: MI


    Hello all,

    I was pulled over recently for speeding. The officer came to my car, told me I was speeding to which I replied "Yes I was sir" A few seconds later the officer asked to search my car. I had nothing in the vehicle so I wasn't worried about it. My question is if I would've not allowed him to search the car what would've been the next step. There was no reason for him to search it, no smell, nothing visible. How do officers usually respond when you tell them they can not search the car?
    You should have refused it or asked to see a search warrant or invoked your 4th amendment rights. The cop could have found nothing then got upset and planted some dope or other illegal stuff in your car.

    Palomares admitted on the stand that he and fellow officers periodically planted drugs -- "cop dope," he called it -- on suspects against whom they didn't have sufficient evidence and then wrote false police reports, but he said he felt doing so was justified.
    http://forums.officer.com/forums/arc...p/t-80162.html

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