It will completely depend on the Police person you're dealing with. The honest types will either come up with real probable cause, or move along. The dishonest types may do it anyway, but in so doing may give you cause to have any evidence tossed out and the case dismissed.Kenny Z wrote: So, I wonder what happens after you say: "Sir, I do not consent to a search". Does law enforcement just let you go or does that just encourage them to make you their top priority with no leniency?
The number one, best advice I can give to anyone in this situation is:
Be extremely polite and respectful and otherwise SHUT THE FUCK UP. Every word that comes out of your mouth increases your odds of getting into trouble. Every word is to the cops advantage, not yours. Give polite and very short answers if necessary, assume a non-confrontational attitude and body posture. Never raise your voice. SMILE gently. I've personally turned around confrontational cop encounters by being calm, soft spoken, respectful, and polite.
I have a canned script for this situation.
Me - "I'm sorry but I can't consent to any search."
Cop - "Why not? You got something to hide?"
Me - "No sir. I cannot consent because a few years ago I almost married a woman who is a prosecutor. (true story!) If I consented she would fly down here, on her broomstick, and beat me with it!"
Give the cop a few seconds to process what I just said and he'll either crack up or shake his head. Cops and prosecutors don't typically have great relationships with each-other.
The biggest ass chewing I ever received from this woman was when I was overly chatty with a police officer during a conversation I had when someone stole my motorcycle. I took this lesson to heart!