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  1. #1

    Default Improper Detention and Search After a Traffic Stop

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Pennsylvania.

    2 days ago I was pulled over for have tint that was too dark in the back and having a broken passenger door side mirror(note the officers were parked on the side of the road facing the same direction as I was traveling so they would not be able to determine if my mirror was missing). The police officer followed me for a quarter mile and proceeded to light me up when I turn into my mothers trailer park. As he approached my door he asked for license and registration I asked him why he pulled me over and he then explained why. After I passed him my license I told the office that my registration was in the trunk with my cars manual. He said he would have me get it for him later. At that moment he asked for my passengers license as well and he proved him with a United States of America passport. The officer took our identification and proceeded to run our info in his car.

    After about 10 mins he asked my passenger for another form of government ID and asked me to step out of the car and follow him to his car. At this moment he began to search me and placed me in handcuffs. I asked him why I was being arrested and he said I was being detained. I then said that I haven't been read my rights and that I want a lawyer he then said me too. At this point I'm placed in the back of a police car and my passenger is placed in another. The officer who placed me in handcuffs asked if I had anything illegal in the car and I said no. He said last chance and I explained to him that I have a medical marijuana card in California and I'm not sure if anything was there. He closed the door on me and searched my car for 20 mins.

    At this time me and my passenger were taken to the police station for possession of less than a gram of marijuana. We were then stripped searched and held in handcuffs for two hours. Upon being released we were given no paperwork what's so ever. My question is do I have a valid complaint against the county?

    All of this was excessive and I'm not sure they had a valid reason to pull me over in the first place. I was traveling the speed limit, I did not smoke and I made a complete stop.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,028

    Default Re: Out of State Tint and Equipment

    It's a bit early to think about complaints.

    You and your friend are being charged with crimes that will give you a criminal record and may even land you in jail.

    You both need to keep your mouths shut and each of you get your own lawyers.

    Otherwise you'll be convicted and there won't be anything to file complaints about.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Out of State Tint and Equipment

    We were never charged with anything to my knowledge. We weren't given any tickets or release papers. In fact according to them we were detained. Both states have medical marijuana laws in place and both states have decriminalized marijuana. I should of be given an infraction ticket for simple possession. It's a 100 ticket. The whole strip search think was extremely excessive not to mention being in handcuffs for over 2 hours

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,029

    Default Re: Out of State Tint and Equipment

    You may contact the chief of the police agency that stopped you and complain if you wish. Sure, in your view it was “excessive.” It likely was though to be reasonable in the eyes of the officers. You are both looking at the same situation with a very different knowledge about you and what you’ve done. You knew whether you had any illegal drugs or had done anything else illegal. The officers, on the other hand, knew almost nothing about you. In particular, they don’t know whether you might have weapons until they check it out and they don’t have any idea if you might be violent. So when they detain suspects while investigating they typically put them in handcuffs to help prevent potential violence. There is nothing illegal about that.

    If it is true that your windows looked like they may have violated the state law on vehicle equipment, that gives the officer the reasonable suspicion needed to pull you over. What the officers may do from there depends on how the stop unfolds. Even if the officers did violate your rights in how the stop was handled, you appear to have suffered no legally recognized damages from it so suing the police department here would likely be a waste of your money and time.

    While Pennsylvania did this year pass a medical marijuana act, you cannot assume that your medical marijuana card from another state will be good in Pennsylvania. The state law that was enacted, read literally, would not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. The law is very new and the state has yet to issue detailed regulations to implement the law, so right now there are a lot of unknown details. If you intend to travel outside California with your weed, you need to look carefully at the details of the laws of the places you will visit to make sure your possession and use of the drug will be permitted. Don’t assume that because another state has a medical marijuana program that you will be good to go. Look at the details of that program to find out for sure.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,269

    Default Re: Out of State Tint and Equipment

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    You may contact the chief of the police agency that stopped you and complain if you wish. Sure, in your view it was “excessive.” It likely was though to be reasonable in the eyes of the officers. You are both looking at the same situation with a very different knowledge about you and what you’ve done. You knew whether you had any illegal drugs or had done anything else illegal. The officers, on the other hand, knew almost nothing about you. In particular, they don’t know whether you might have weapons until they check it out and they don’t have any idea if you might be violent. So when they detain suspects while investigating they typically put them in handcuffs to help prevent potential violence. There is nothing illegal about that.

    If it is true that your windows looked like they may have violated the state law on vehicle equipment, that gives the officer the reasonable suspicion needed to pull you over. What the officers may do from there depends on how the stop unfolds. Even if the officers did violate your rights in how the stop was handled, you appear to have suffered no legally recognized damages from it so suing the police department here would likely be a waste of your money and time.

    While Pennsylvania did this year pass a medical marijuana act, you cannot assume that your medical marijuana card from another state will be good in Pennsylvania. The state law that was enacted, read literally, would not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. The law is very new and the state has yet to issue detailed regulations to implement the law, so right now there are a lot of unknown details. If you intend to travel outside California with your weed, you need to look carefully at the details of the laws of the places you will visit to make sure your possession and use of the drug will be permitted. Don’t assume that because another state has a medical marijuana program that you will be good to go. Look at the details of that program to find out for sure.
    I would agree with all of this except that they were cuffed and placed in police cars before their car was ever searched and the marijuana ever found. Having a car with improper tint would be a reason for a stop, but not a reason to demand the passenger's ID nor a reason to cuff both the driver and the passenger. That is the part that I think is weird.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Out of State Tint and Equipment

    Not to mention the fact that they had us at the police station(police shack) for 2 hours handcuffed the entire time and stripped searched. I've been caught with weed before in Pa and it usually ended up with confiscation. They didn't fingerprint us or anything just stripped searched us. Also when he presented the passport they ran it with immigration. I heard them talking about how they had to wait until immigration came back with info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,269

    Default Re: Out of State Tint and Equipment

    Quote Quoting Liquid_snake91
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    Not to mention the fact that they had us at the police station(police shack) for 2 hours handcuffed the entire time and stripped searched. I've been caught with weed before in Pa and it usually ended up with confiscation. They didn't fingerprint us or anything just stripped searched us. Also when he presented the passport they ran it with immigration. I heard them talking about how they had to wait until immigration came back with info.
    It sounds like you might have been profiled.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Improper Detention and Search After a Traffic Stop

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    It sounds like you might have been profiled.
    My father is a paralegal and he was the one saying our rights were violated. I knew we got profiled but there really isn't much to do on our end, right? They didn't ask us for an address to mail a ticket or any of that either. The whole incident was pretty traumatizing, not to mention extremely excessive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,269

    Default Re: Improper Detention and Search After a Traffic Stop

    Quote Quoting Liquid_snake91
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    My father is a paralegal and he was the one saying our rights were violated. I knew we got profiled but there really isn't much to do on our end, right? They didn't ask us for an address to mail a ticket or any of that either. The whole incident was pretty traumatizing, not to mention extremely excessive
    No, there really isn't much you can do.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Improper Detention and Search After a Traffic Stop

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    No, there really isn't much you can do.
    Litterally stripped searched and detained for 2 hours for half a gram. Wasn't smoking at all when we were pulled over. Had residual smell apparently that gave them probable cause. Everything about it was ridiculous

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