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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting ashman165
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    Somewhere out there a village is . . .
    Why would you say this? The poster simply did what he/she felt was right: say what is in the vehicle. It isn't illegal to have it, but we all know how cops can turn things around.

    The question was if consent is given to search justa part of the car, such as the glovebox as in this case, are you in fact giving consent to search the entire vehicle?

    As I see it, in this case, the person thought that should reason be fabricated and seacrch conducted, an Exacto knife could be considered a weapon or a concealed weapon and go to jail and face charges. Rather than lie, it was told that the knife was in the glovebox and rather than just getting the knife, the cops took it that this warranted a search and destroy mission.

    Back to question: by saying something of possible interest is located in part of the car, it is taken a full search is granted?? And, back to question, what are your qualifications to answer the question-- lawyer, paralegal, legal researcher, random person from the street.....?????

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting zedex
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    The question was if consent is given to search justa part of the car, such as the glovebox as in this case, are you in fact giving consent to search the entire vehicle?
    Mewgirl did not mention anything about giving consent. She wrote that she pointed out there might be an unopened and packaged Xacto knife in the glove box. We do not know if the officers had any other cause to search or if they asked her, "May we look in the car?" The search would only have been limited if she said that they could ONLY open the door and look in the glove box ... then, of course, if they were leaning in and looking in the glove box and they saw something to justify a further search, that would signal a start to a new ballgame.

    Back to question: by saying something of possible interest is located in part of the car, it is taken a full search is granted??
    That depends on the question asked, and the response back.

    - Carl

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Mewgirl did not mention anything about giving consent. She wrote that she pointed out there might be an unopened and packaged Xacto knife in the glove box. We do not know if the officers had any other cause to search or if they asked her, "May we look in the car?" The search would only have been limited if she said that they could ONLY open the door and look in the glove box ... then, of course, if they were leaning in and looking in the glove box and they saw something to justify a further search, that would signal a start to a new ballgame.


    That depends on the question asked, and the response back.

    - Carl
    Ok, so you pull me over for something simple like a seatbelt violation and you ask "are there any guns, knifes, bazookas, or any other weapons in the car? Do you have any drugs, pipes or needles, anything that you could stab, stick or poke me with in the car?" and I say " I have a pocket knife in the glovebox. But, I ain't gonna do nothing to you with it".

    Two ways to see this are that I told you there is a weapon in the car, but did not give consent to search, right? Using my statement, you have probable cause to conduct a search without consent as you know there is a weapon and you want to at the very least secure it for your safety. But, I did not give consent. Using your reasoning, you do not need it.

    Now, had I said "go ahead and get it out of the glovebox so that you feel better". I authorized a limited search, not a full blown one. Again, you have knowledge of a weapon and reason to search, true??

    What if I told you there was nothing at all in the car, knowing full well the knife is there. You come up with a reason to search without consent and find it. Now, I am in trouble for concealed weapon.

    What it boils down to is that there is no such thing as reasonable cause. It is at the cop's discrection as to where or not a search will be done.

    Example: I don't drink and drive and I do not use drugs at all. You pull me over and for whatever reason, we have a personality clash. You want to give me a hard time so you ask about weapons and/or drugs. I deny anything is in my truck. But, you just want to have fun, rattle my cage. You ask me to step out of the truck and I ask why. You say you want to search my truck and I refuse. But, you aren't having that. You say you smell the odor of burning pot in my truck. There's your probable cause. Purely fabricated for the purpose of your own amusement. You search and find nothing. Everything in my truck is in disarray for your entertainment and I am left with a trashed truck and you find nothing.

    You don't have to explain your actions to anyone. You are your own agent and I am the pawn.

    I know you aren't a bad cop, Carl. But you have to admit there are plenty of those running wild and uncontrolled and fueling the disrespect and distrust of the general population.

    So, how does one protect him/herself from the bad ones that just want to rattle cages?? How are we to defned ourselves from a cop just popping off with some BS reason to do a useless and warrantless search?

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting zedex
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    Ok, so you pull me over for something simple like a seatbelt violation and you ask "are there any guns, knifes, bazookas, or any other weapons in the car? Do you have any drugs, pipes or needles, anything that you could stab, stick or poke me with in the car?" and I say " I have a pocket knife in the glovebox. But, I ain't gonna do nothing to you with it".
    Okay ... you say you have a pocket knife in the glove box.

    Two ways to see this are that I told you there is a weapon in the car, but did not give consent to search, right?
    It's not an unlawful weapon and it is doubtful I could remotely articulate that it was readily available to you as a weapon. So, absent consent or some probable cause to justify the search I couldn't legally do it.

    Now, had I said "go ahead and get it out of the glovebox so that you feel better". I authorized a limited search, not a full blown one. Again, you have knowledge of a weapon and reason to search, true??
    You then would have authorized a limited search. However, anything unlawful I might discover while inside the car to retrieve the knife upon your consent is fair game.

    What if I told you there was nothing at all in the car, knowing full well the knife is there. You come up with a reason to search without consent and find it. Now, I am in trouble for concealed weapon.
    Not in my state. A pocket knife is not generally going to be a concealed weapon.

    What it boils down to is that there is no such thing as reasonable cause. It is at the cop's discrection as to where or not a search will be done.
    Not true.

    You say you smell the odor of burning pot in my truck. There's your probable cause.
    If it is true, it is probable cause. If it is a lie it is NOT probable cause and it is unlawful.

    You don't have to explain your actions to anyone. You are your own agent and I am the pawn.
    Sure I would! If I was called on it - by my supervisors, the court, whomever, I'd have to articulate my probable cause. Nothing will ever completely protect someone from a dirty cop who can make stuff up. Fortunately, the number of these is astronomically minuscule.

    - Carl

  5. #15

    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Back to question: by saying something of possible interest is located in part of the car, it is taken a full search is granted??
    No permission is granted, as permission was not given.

    I told a police officer "There may be an exacto knife in the glovebox that has not yet been assembled - the cardboard is still inside of it". They then searched the entire car, destroying everything in the process. I assume this is still illegal
    An exacto knife is not a weapon, nor is it illegal. Also if it was packaged it could not have been used against them, even if it was able to be reached.

    Using my statement, you have probable cause to conduct a search without consent as you know there is a weapon and you want to at the very least secure it for your safety
    You're right but it only applies if you are capable of reaching the weapon at the time. If you are not capable of reaching it then there is no danger to the officer's safety.

    Now, had I said "go ahead and get it out of the glovebox so that you feel better". I authorized a limited search, not a full blown one.
    That would be considered unclear, and officers would pretend to interpret as full consent. Regardless of the fact that you did not actually consent at all, you only said they could remove the item (but not search).

    What if I told you there was nothing at all in the car, knowing full well the knife is there. You come up with a reason to search without consent and find it. Now, I am in trouble for concealed weapon.
    Not true, if it was concealed then it was concealed whether you told them it was there or not, and telling them it's not there does not make it concealed if it is there. Also, since pocket knifes are not (usually) illegal to have, I don't think it could be qualified as "concealed" (may depend on your state, of course).

    Although lying to the police is technically illegal in some places, I don't think they convict people of that as an offense (at least not very often), they just use it against you if it is relevant in the case you are being independantly tried for.

    You say you smell the odor of burning pot in my truck. There's your probable cause. Purely fabricated for the purpose of your own amusement. You search and find nothing
    If they didn't find any pot, then it is obvious that smelling it was a lie. The only time this applies is when they DO find pot. IN that case it is still an illegal search, and you should not be convicted of anything, but you will be, because the cop will lie.

    If what I quoted happens to you should seek relief and sue the police department. If you have any cases against you resulting, then you will win your case and submit a "bill of costs". Your bill of costs can include any time and/or money spent fixing the destruction of your car.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting zedex
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    Why would you say this? The poster simply did what he/she felt was right: say what is in the vehicle. It isn't illegal to have it, but we all know how cops can turn things around.

    The question was if consent is given to search justa part of the car, such as the glovebox as in this case, are you in fact giving consent to search the entire vehicle?

    As I see it, in this case, the person thought that should reason be fabricated and seacrch conducted, an Exacto knife could be considered a weapon or a concealed weapon and go to jail and face charges. Rather than lie, it was told that the knife was in the glovebox and rather than just getting the knife, the cops took it that this warranted a search and destroy mission.

    Back to question: by saying something of possible interest is located in part of the car, it is taken a full search is granted?? And, back to question, what are your qualifications to answer the question-- lawyer, paralegal, legal researcher, random person from the street.....?????
    Oh, I said it because I logged in and noticed the comment shortly after it was posted. And I figured maybe the person didn't realize which forum it was in, or was just trolling. So I left it alone. Then I logged in again and noticed said member had been banned so I read through all of her posts. It didn't seem appropriate to respond to her anywhere else as that would only serve to crap up the posts from people who actually had questions.

    But this is a different thread and I didn't think that responding to her generally in here would be bothersome. So, the statement is kind of a general assessment of her, not necessarily this post.

    But, this post when first I read it gave me pause.

    There have been a few responses since I posted that, so I won't quote them all but I'll just address a few of the issues brought up.

    It was mentioned that declaring the presence of some weapon means that it isn't concealed. I'm not sure I follow that as concealed means hidden from view. Telling a police officer you have a firearm concealed on your person before he searches you doesn't somehow change the fact that it was in fact concealed before you told him.

    But here we're talking about an exacto knife. And she didn't say there was an exacto knife in the glovebox; rather, that there might be one in there. Not that it matters since an exacto knife isn't generally thought of us as a weapon anymore than a screwdriver is. Sure, either can be used as a weapon, but that doesn't change the fact that in general they are used as tools of particular trades. I'm hard-pressed to imagine a situation in which an officer could from there possibly being an exacto knife in a glove compartment to there being PC to search in the absence of some law declaring exact knives to be illegal weapons.

    What's more, I think, is that it's entirely untrue that the police aren't ultimately accountable to anyone for their actions; there are good reasons we have courts, and police officers have superiors. I think it's a bit of an overstatement to suggest that any individual police officer is a completely independent entity answerable to no one for his/her actions. In the example about the cop lying to get his jollies by rummaging through your personal effects there is recourse: you can file a complaint with his boss(es), and you can sue him.

    Also, I don't think it's particularly fair to come into an online discussion group to ask a question and make as a caveat to answering it the requirement that one delineate his/her credentials. The credentials of the person making an argument aren't relevant to how good the advice or argument is. Non-lawyers are capable of making very good legal arguments much like some attorneys are quite capable of making bad legal arguments. Of course people are free to decide on their own if they want to write out their qualifications for whatever reason; I just think it's a bit rude to demand it as a condition of answering a question.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    An exacto knife may be on the low end of what could be considered a weapon. There may be some that aren't dangerous. On the other hand, I don't want to get cut by anything. You're not going to get to stay in the car, at a minimum.

    Keep in mind though, the standard to do a limited search for weapons for officer safety is reasonable suspicion not probable cause.

    Also, if you tell me something like, "There's a gun in the glove box," I'm not going to limit that search to the glove box. If a person has one gun, it's reasonable to believe that they may have more than one gun.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting Billy Mack
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    An exacto knife may be on the low end of what could be considered a weapon. There may be some that aren't dangerous. On the other hand, I don't want to get cut by anything. You're not going to get to stay in the car, at a minimum.

    Keep in mind though, the standard to do a limited search for weapons for officer safety is reasonable suspicion not probable cause.

    Also, if you tell me something like, "There's a gun in the glove box," I'm not going to limit that search to the glove box. If a person has one gun, it's reasonable to believe that they may have more than one gun.
    I agree. Indeed, it's so low on the list that it's not listed in my state as a weapon of any kind. The opinion said nothing about you not being able to remove a person from the car for your own safety. But, and I guess we'll see how this plays out, I'm not taking it to mean that after you do so, you're thus free to go about searching the car for your own safety as removing the person has already achieved that. Or, when you fear for your own safety, do you just pull them out and have them stand near the car so that they're close enough to a potential weapon that they're dangerous enough to warrant a search in your mind, but far enough away that you feel safe?

    But I guess if a person tells you have they have gun they're legally entitled to carry, it's reasonable to believe that they might have another gun in the car? Perhaps another that is legal? Or maybe one that's illegal?


    Indeed, I think it would cut against you that if a person volunteers they have a firearm in a glove box (you didn't say if they were licensed for it), it would stand to reason that if they had more than one they'd have similarly declared it. But that's neither here nor there as it isn't the issue in this post. This post was about an exacto knife, not a gun. Or, in other words, a tool that is legal to carry versus a weapon that is only legal for some people to carry. For instance, I have a concealed weapon permit and upon any contact with LE, I inform that I'm carrying a weapon and have a permit so to do. I have been searched roughly zero times as a result. But I guess you'd just decide to search my whole car anyway though?

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting ashman165
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    I agree. Indeed, it's so low on the list that it's not listed in my state as a weapon of any kind.
    It may not be listed as a weapon, but in the right circumstances it CAN be a weapon. In the glove box with the occupants removed, it ceases to be a weapon, but if permission is granted even implicitly to search for it, then the entry and search would generally be good.

    But I guess if a person tells you have they have gun they're legally entitled to carry, it's reasonable to believe that they might have another gun in the car? Perhaps another that is legal? Or maybe one that's illegal?
    Depending on the circumstances, that is an entirely reasonable assumption to make. If I find one gun in the car, I am certainly not legally required to take the suspect's word for it that it is the ONLY gun.

    Indeed, I think it would cut against you that if a person volunteers they have a firearm in a glove box (you didn't say if they were licensed for it), it would stand to reason that if they had more than one they'd have similarly declared it.
    And, of course, everyone tells us the truth.

    You KNOW better than that.

    For instance, I have a concealed weapon permit and upon any contact with LE, I inform that I'm carrying a weapon and have a permit so to do. I have been searched roughly zero times as a result. But I guess you'd just decide to search my whole car anyway though?
    I don't know about Mack, but I might. I would almost certainly separate you from the gun until i could ascertain the legality of the situation, and that might entail you sitting in the back of my patrol car - perhaps in cuffs - until i could sort it out. Each situation is specific. Most the time when i come across an armed driver (and I live and work in the country so this is somewhat frequent) I remove the driver, pat him down, and have him wait in my vehicle or with another officer while I look for the weapon (or weapons) and any permit he might have.

    - Carl

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Arizona v Gant - Searches of Motor Vehicles

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    I don't know about Mack, but I might. I would almost certainly separate you from the gun until i could ascertain the legality of the situation, and that might entail you sitting in the back of my patrol car - perhaps in cuffs - until i could sort it out. Each situation is specific. Most the time when i come across an armed driver (and I live and work in the country so this is somewhat frequent) I remove the driver, pat him down, and have him wait in my vehicle or with another officer while I look for the weapon (or weapons) and any permit he might have.
    In Georgia, any person who is legally allowed to possess a gun can carry it in the passenger compartment of their car. It's been an issue, which due to a recent case, I've had to research in great detail.

    How I handle it will depend on the situation, but the ability to pat someone down, if they're already detained, is because of the threat that they could pose. The lawfulness of the person carrying a weapon isn't really the issue.

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