Policing for Profit & Protecting Yourself
In Humboldt County, Nevada, one Sheriff’s Deputy has been accused of seizing over $60,000 in money from two separate motorists, and not charging them with a crime or giving them a ticket.
That just doesn’t seem right, right? Unfortunately it is accepted law. Police are allowed to seize property from people and use it for the benefit of the police department! Read this article for the full story.
What does this mean for you and me? Simply that you should do your best to follow all traffic laws, especially in these smaller counties and towns. If you are pulled over, though, you need to remember what I preach and follow these tips:
1) Don’t Admit To Anything or Answer Any Questions
This is your Constitutional right! Use it! Don’t let the police pressure you into giving it up.
Whatever you do, do not offer any information or speak to the officer. Remember anything you say can and will be used against you.
The officer will ask you questions, usually designed to make you admit to doing something wrong. These questions can be along the lines of, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “Have you been drinking..?” Instead of saying, “Sorry, sir, ” or “I know I was speeding,” simply hand the officer your license, registration and insurance card and say, “I respectfully decline to answer any questions.” If the officer continues to pressure you to speak or answer questions just state that again.
The officer will try to get you to admit to breaking traffic laws, and potentially admit to more than that, so remember to decline to answer.
2) Don’t Consent To a Search of Your Vehicle
Officers can only search your car if you give them consent, or if they arrest you (even then they are limited to what is in plain view). Do not consent to a search, and if they ask you to exit the vehicle simply ask, “am I being detained?”.
A simple rule to follow if you are traveling with items, cash, etc., that you would not want the police to see or find is have them in a closed bag or luggage in the trunk of the car. It would require a search warrant obtained by the officer to get into the trunk and to open the bag/luggage, which means that he would have to definitively state any his reasons for probable cause for the search warrant which would have to be more than just speeding or an unregistered vehicle.
So, remember to protect yourself, your defense and your personal belongings by using your rights.