Flexing your Rights KEEP IN CAR (Note: This is not to promote criminal activity, This is to informcitizens how to flex their rights when encountered by a power hungry authority figure) By Brandon C.
Make the cop feel comfortable• As you get pulled over, make sure all passengers hands, including yourself, are visible immediately.• If it’s night time turn on your dome light• Roll down your window• Say yes sir and no sir• When asked to show documents, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them, and reach slowly.• Keep your cool, Nervousness can make for suspicion, not reasonable suspicion, do not give up your rights.
Refusing A Search• If a police officer has reasonable suspicion to search your vehicle, it’s best to cooperate.• Consenting to a search request automatically makes the search legal in the eyes of the law.• You always have the right to refuse search requests by stating the most important sentence you will ever learn, “Officer, I don’t consent to any searches.” Repeat, if necessary.• Most vehicle searches occur because people get tricked or intimidated into consenting to search requests.• Police must have clear facts or evidence to believe you’re involved in criminal activity• Fore more info on probable cause go to slide 5.
The Fifth Amendment• Many people believe that they can “beat the case” if the officer doesn’t read them their Miranda Rights during an arrest, This is a myth.• The only time an officer must read a person his or her Miranda rights is when: (1) the person has been placed under arrest, AND (2) the officer is about to question the person about a crime.• Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. So don’t try to talk yourself out of the situation, and don’t make small talk with police either
Probable Cause• Be aware that minor traffic violations (e.g. speeding, broken tail-light, or expired registration) are not considered probable cause.• Generally speaking, probable cause for an arrest “…means more than mere suspicion. There must be facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge, and of which he has trustworthy information, sufficient to justify the belief that of a reasonable person that an offense has been or is being committed. ” State v. Penland, 174 Conn. 153, 155, 384 A. 2d 356, cert. denied, 436 U. S. 906 (1978). On the other hand, to establish probable cause, it is not necessary to produce a quantum of evidence necessary to convict. State v. Paoletto 181 Conn. 172 (1980), citing Draper v. U. S. , 358 U. S. 307, 311 (1959).
Police at my door• The Supreme Court has ruled that the home is entitled to maximum search protection. Even if they have probable cause to believe something illegal is going on inside your home, the 4th Amendment requires police to get a signed search warrant from a judge to legally enter and search.• The major exception to the search warrant requirement is where consent is given to an officer’s request to enter. If, for example, an officer is legally invited into your home, any illegal items that are out in the open – or in “plain view” — can be seized as evidence, which can lead to an arrest. That being the case, it’s always wise to keep any private items that you don’t want others to see out of view of your entrance area.• Don’t Let Them Inside It’s a good safety habit to determine who is at your door before opening it. If after looking out the window, through your peephole, or asking “Who is it?” you find police at your door, you have several options that may help keep them from unexpectedly entering.• 1). If you’re concerned they might try to force an entry, you may greet them outside after exiting through another door.• 2). You may speak with officers through the opening protected by your chain lock.• 3). If police come to your door and you don’t require their help, you may simply decline to answer the door at all. Unless they have a warrant, they will eventually leave.• Determine the Reason for the Visit While you might not be pleased to have police at your door, it’s wise to treat them as you would any other unexpected visitor. Calmly and respectfully ask, “How can I help you?”• In many cases, an officer’s visit will have little to do with you or be something you can easy fix. For example, an officer may be seeking information about a crime committed in your neighborhood. Or she might be responding to a noise complaint. If so, it’s wise to apologize for the inconvenience, then turn down the music or bring in your barking dog from the backyard.• In other instances, an officer might want to investigate activities taking place in your home and ask to enter. You might even be a suspect in a criminal investigation. In such a case you should remain silent — except to say “Officer, I can’t let you inside without a search warrant.” Following such an encounter, you should immediately contact a lawyer before speaking to police again.
Police Detentions• Police may detain you as long as it reasonably takes police to conduct the investigation. For example, if you’ve been stopped for speeding, police can technically only detain you long enough to check your paperwork and write you a speeding ticket. However, if the officer discovers evidence of other criminal activity during the stop, they may legally prolong the investigation.• If you choose to challenge a detention, your lawyer will have to argue that police kept you longer than necessary under the circumstances. If the judge agrees, any criminal charges that resulted from your detention will likely be dropped.• Remember that detentions are voluntary unless you verbally ask to leave. Any time police detain you, it’s a good idea to ask if you’re free to go. If the officer says you may leave, it’s up to you to leave the scene of the encounter. If you choose to stay, the detention is automatically legal.
K-9 Search• The Caballes ruling authorizes police to walk a drug dog around the vehicle during any legitimate traffic stop. If the dog signals that it smells drugs, police then have probable cause to conduct a search.• However, the ruling does not allow police to detain you indefinitely until dogs arrive. The legitimacy of the traffic stop still depends on its duration. Basically, if police can’t bring a dog to the scene in the time it takes to run your tags and write a ticket, the use of the dog becomes constitutionally suspect. So if you’re pulled over and police threaten to call in the dogs, you are not required to consent to searches.• The ruling also does not apply to the use of police dogs in situations other than legitimate traffic stops. For example, suspicionless dog sniffs in parking lots or on sidewalks are not authorized by Caballes, and the Court has found random drug checkpoints unconstitutional. Nonetheless, the Court’s “no privacy interest in contraband” doctrine is a nasty one, but it might open up possibilities for future legal challenges.• A recent Chicago Tribune field study revealed that drug dogs are more often wrong than they are right when alerting for drugs in vehicles. (Worse, police often train their dogs to falsely “alert” on suspected vehicles.)
Recording Police• Rule #1: Know the Law (Wherever You Are)• Rule #2 Don’t Secretly Record Police• Rule #3: Respond to “Shit Cops Say” (Say something like “Officer, I’m not interfering. I’m asserting my First Amendment rights. You’re being documented and recorded offsite.”)• Rule #4: Don’t Share Your Video with Police• Rule #5: Prepare to be Arrested• Rule #6: Master Your Technology• Rule #7: Don’t Point Your Camera Like a Gun• For more info on rules for recording police go to http://www.flexyourrights.org/7-rules-for-recording- police/, Remember each state has different laws on this, so Read up.
EDUCATE OTHERS• Educate Friends & Family• As is often the case, a naïve friend, family member, or roommate may invite police into your home. They too should be aware of their right to refuse police entry.
Sources• "What Is Probable Cause?" Flex Your Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.• "Donâ€™t Police Have to Read Me My Rights?" Flex Your Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.• "The Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Maker." EasyBib. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.• "PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST-DRUGS IN MOTOR VEHICLES." PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST-DRUGS IN MOTOR VEHICLES. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012• "7 Rules for Recording Police." Flex Your Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.• "How Long Can Police Detain You?" Flex Your Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.• "When Can Police Use Drug Dogs?" Flex Your Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.• "Police at My Door: What Should I Do?" Flex Your Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.