Many times the worst thing that happens from getting a speeding ticket isn’t the ticket itself – it’s not too terribly difficult to take care of a speeding ticket, after all. No, where the real damage comes into play is when you allow the cops to go farther than they should and you wind up with a much bigger problem on your hands.
How a Car Search Usually Happens
An example is the easiest way to show you what I’m talking about. Let’s say you are tooling around in Bellevue, minding your own business. You are a recreational marijuana smoker, and just picked up an ounce for your own personal use and were on your way home.
That’s when you notice the lights flashing in your rear view mirror. The police pull you over and get your driving information. Once that is done they tell you that you missed a stop sign back a few blocks and they are going to let that go.
Then, just as they are leaving, they ask one final question:
Cop: Do you mind if I search your vehicle real quick just to make sure there isn’t any funny business going on?
This is the place where you, as calmly as possible, decline to allow the police to search your car. You do, after all, have an ounce of marijuana in the car, and if they find it, they are not going to look the other way like they did with the stop sign violation.
And, by the way, even if you didn’t have anything in the car I’d still refuse to let them search. You know why? It’s none of their business what’s in my car. I have the Constitutional right to refuse to allow them to search and make them get a warrant.
What’s Going to Happen if You Refuse to Let the Cops Search Your Car?
In my experience, if you refuse to let the search your car they are going to use all their might to guilt you into letting them look in your car.
Cop guilt trip tactic #1: Are you afraid we’ll find something?
Cop guilt trip tactic #2: It will only take a second.
Cop guilt trip tactic #3: If you don’t have anything in there that is illegal then it shouldn’t be a problem.
At this point the best response is: “Am I free to go? Because if I’m not then I’d like to speak to an attorney.” They won’t necessarily like that (in fact, they are going to hate it), but it will get their attention.
Just Say No to Car Searches by the Cops
Don’t let your next speeding ticket blow up into something much bigger. Learn about your Constitutional right to be free from illegal searches and don’t let the police search your vehicle just because they ask.
About Me: Christopher Small is the author of this blog post, a lawyer at Emerald City Law Group Inc., and one bad ass Seattle traffic lawyer. If you’ve got a traffic problem, we’ve got a solution. Call us today – 206-651-4245.