Sunday, December 2, 2007

Is There Anything in the Car I Need to Know About?

My favorite question. The answer, 99.99% of the time is, "No, there's nothing in there". My next question is usually "Do you mind if I look?" For some freakish reason, the answer is almost always "No, go ahead".

This is a consensual search. Why more people don't say "Yes, I do mind" is beyond me. Why, if you have guns, dope or other nasty shit in your car, are you going to willingly let me search the car. Do you think I'm not gonna find it? Do you think I'm gonna say "Okay, well, I'm not gonna search it because you apparently have nothing to hide"? Newsflash there Sparky... if you give me consent to search your car, I'm going to search it, and I'm going to find your goodies. And I have never once had someone who consented to a search, tell me to stop. You know, like "I don't want you to search anymore". Perhaps people don't know they can say no or stop, and we can't continue to search without a reason.

When someone does not want to give me consent to search their car, the first thing I think is they have something to hide. But guess what. Absent some other legal reason, I can't search the car without their consent. Of course, now I'm going to be looking hard for a reason to search. If that car is the least bit towable, or the driver or passenger are the least bit arrestable, someone or something is going to jail. If the driver doesn't have identification, or can't provide registration paperwork, I'm going looking.

I have found more stuff on consent searches, than I have on searches incident to an arrest or inventory searches. It just blows my mind that a person who knows they have something they shouldn't have will let me search their ride. It happens almost every time.


Liz said...

I like it when they try to get you to stop, but it's to late. Like when you've found some drugs and you get to the glove box and they start to freak out and want you to stop searching... and then you find the loaded gun! It's like winning the lottery.

USAincognito said...

I do so enjoy reading your posts, Officer Smith. The way you write is a breathe of fresh air and I truly do enjoy reading your posts. :)