percussivepaul wrote:Someone I know was busted. Pulled over for an obstructed plate due to bike rack (heard there was a lot of that this year). Cops initially friendly, just wanted to let you know about your plate, yeah everything's fine, oh you don't want us to search your car, okay just wait here while we get the dogs (!). Friends said you need probable cause to search, cops said 'we don't need probable cause to sniff with the dogs' (I am told this is not true, and it is at this point where their rights were violated). Dogs supposedly found something, police said now is the time to cough up if you have anything illegal because now we are going to search, and one of the two friends fessed up and was given a $500 ticket.
Here's a question. I can see the intimidation tactics at play here and I think my friend might be boned because she confessed to having drugs, and if she had kept her mouth shut she would have been able to successfully fight anything that they pinned on her. But I'm curious what the consequences are if you DON'T confess, and they proceed to search, and then find something. The police certainly make it sound as though the penalty will be harsher. I think that's a bluff. Is that a bluff? Did anyone hear of an encounter where the person denied having anything, police proceeded to search anyway, then found something? Is it the same $500 fine, or is it worse?
This is dead horsery, but bears repeating. Here is how it works:
- Confession = Guilty.
FAIL. Do not pass go, pay up your fine, maybe even suffer additional consequences. Unless your time is so valuable that $525 or whatever the fine and black mark on your record is worth maybe getting it over with, don't confess. Hell, even if your time is that valuable, they may now have probable cause, and a bored officer can make your life living hell. So never, ever confess
unless you are in a court of law and your lawyer advises that a guilty plea will be a better option than fighting the charge pleading not guilty.
Point 2: Your punishment will not
be any lessened by confessing no matter what the officer says. You can only lessen your punishment if you are in a court of law
and your lawyer has worked out a plea deal. The playa is not a court of law.
Maybe if you're packing 30 kilos of top-grade china white in the tires it might be a calculated move to just taking the hit for some pot you've confessed with; however, generally you're worse off, and you've still just given them the green light to find all the other contraband you may or may not be carrying.
- Saying you're innocent and then proven guilty = harsher penalty because you lied.
Example: "We found this in your tent." "That's not mine." "We determined that it is, and since you lied about it, you get hit with another charge for lying to an officer."
- Truthfully having no contraband, etc., saying so = Maybe the cops will still find something, and still pin it on you. Same result as above. Never
volunteer any information. Silence is golden. "Someone else left it here. It's not ours." "No, we determined that because it is in your camp, it belongs to you, and you are responsible for it."
Oops, what can you do? Nothing.
- Shutting up and saying absolutely nothing = Only guilty if they can legally search your belongings and find something. YOUR BEST OPTION. "We found this in your camp, do you know what it is?" "Officer, I respectfully decline to answer that."
He can't do anything to you unless he has real probable cause, carries out an investigation, and actually proves guilt. Until then, you are innocent.
Anything you say, can and will be used against you. Conversely, nothing you say can or will be used for you.
besides your legal obligation to provide your name if asked. This includes the truth, vouching for friends, trying to "help" etc. Nothing you say will help. Just shut up. Do
ask if you're being detained and whether you can leave. Do not
consent to a search under any
circumstances. Do not
confess to anything under any
circumstances unless you are in a court of law under advice of a lawyer.
If you are arrested, being interrogated, etc. do not
say anything. Do not
believe any statements about what others have said, etc. Police officers are allowed to lie. You are not.
Also, anything you say can be used against
your friends and yourself. The best way to get your "alibis" straight with friends or witnesses is to say nothing. That is the solution to the prisoner dilemma.
Police officers can also lie with regards to your "rights." They can state that they now have probable cause even if they do not. No, your rights are not violated by this. Know your rights.
Above all: shut the hell up.
A good video outlining all this, including advice from an actual cop: