View Full Version : A car search.

El Sitherino
07-10-2008, 10:29 AM
So I have a bit of an interesting story to tell, and perhaps some discussion can come from this.

So last Friday I was on my way up to Fort Worth to visit my fiance, and on the way up I was passing a car. This car was travelling probably 58-60 MPH on a stretch of highway that has a speedlimit of 65 (my traveling speed, lucky that). Well I'm coming up on this car and it seems to me I need to pass him as I'm coming up quickly. So I signal my way to the passing lane, at a moderate speed of 65-70 MPH.

Upon passing this car a State Trooper car that had been parked along the shoulder of the highway had started to move and made his way infront of the car I was passing and proceeded to drive in the middle of this two-lane highway as I am about to change back over to my lane and slow to 65. Well, because he's in the middle of the lanes I'm now forced to not only maintain my speed (he's damn near right behind me), but I cannot move over either as I do not know where he's going. He drove behind me for about 30 seconds taking up both lanes, knowing full well I can't slow down or he'll hit my vehicle. Next I know he's pulling me over for speeding.

At this point he asks me to step out of the vehicle where I am then to give him my license and registration. At no point does he state how fast I was speeding over the limit nor is it on my "Warning" ticket.

Upon giving him my driver's license and registration he appears to notice I have a mohawk in my ID and the mood seems to change.

Now keep in mind this is all taking place at roughly 10:40PM on the fourth of July.

He purposefully drops my ID several times and while he finishes writing my warning ticket for using the passing lane as I had been told it is to be used (to pass cars that are travelling at a slower rate of speed than you, while working within a reasonable degree of speed), he asks me for my social security number. Knowing full well he has no right or reason to ask for this, nor if he finds anything can it be used against me, I oblige anyway simply so I may make it to Fort Worth before 1AM. Well, turns out he wants to find something on me.

He comes back to me after spending several minutes in his car and asks me if I had ever been arrested. Naturally having not, I reply "No sir." To which he asks if he may now search my vehicle, stating it will be very quick and then I may be on my way.
So after telling him I simply wish to go to Fort Worth and I'm trying to make it there before I fall asleep and that I do need to get my blood sugar up he prompts me to stand 10 yards away to the front of my vehicle as he looks around. Obviously finding nothing he informs me that I had lied about never having been arrested, and cites a juvenile delinquency case against me. A record that he is legally not allowed to access or use against as it is neither an arrest as well that record was expunged upon turning 17.

He said since I lied about this, it gives him probable cause to search the vehicle. At this point he is now rummaging through my bags and opening locked, zipped, and sealed items. He even opened and tumped a bunch of my raisins (pointless? I think so).

Well, now he makes his way to my messenger bag which contains my office stuff and work papers. Inside is a small tobacco pipe zipped in it's pillow-bag.

He pulls this out and begins to inform me that he is within his rights to arrest me and that I need to tell him now if I have anything else. When he asks me what this pipe is I reply to him "It's my tobacco pipe.", which it is. A tobacco pipe.

At this time he is now writing me a citation for possession of drug paraphenalia without testing the pipe, or even so much as sniffing this.

He had stated that I lied about having any illegal substances or items in my possession, which I never had. As far as I could tell (we're on a busy Texas freeway [I-35] so there is noise and if any of you didn't know, I am partially deaf.) he had only asked me if I was on anything which I had informed him that I was sober and had not even drank during the day.

So now I'm faced with having to speak with a judge and proving myself innocent after an illegal search and seizure along with proving that simply having a pipe is not an illegality.

I must say this entire situation was very confusing and upsetting, and on top of that very stressful, as he had threatened several times to arrest me for having migraine medication on me stating I might be going to sell it.

Not entirely sure of what discussion may come out of this, but a hot pot for discussion such as this place may surely come up with something to discuss. Perhaps the legality of searching through locked possessions without consent. Or the abuse of a man simply trying to be on his way.

Jae Onasi
07-10-2008, 10:38 AM
Get a lawyer. Do not pass go.

07-10-2008, 10:46 AM
I sympathize. Sounds like you had a nebby nazi. I was given a once over in Germany on a train out of Dresden. Apparently the officer (in some kind of blue-gray uniform--as compared to the green a lot of the immigration type police were wearing) didn't like the stamp in my passport and proceeded to make me open all my stuff on the train, rifling through it for God knows what (drugs?). I was wet b/c I got caught in the rain trying to make it to the station and wasn't a native. He took my passport, showed to some of the "greenies" and they seemed to have a little conference in the train, stealing looks at me before deciding I was sufficiently harmless and harrassed enough to move on. The guy then almost tossed my passport back at me, seemingly disappointed, and moved on. They may have been w/in their rights (don't know German law), but he was a real @sshole. Hope you get a decent judge (and good enough lawyer).

07-10-2008, 12:36 PM
Get a lawyer. Do not pass go.

Jae is right. Get yourself some help and do some damage to that moron.


07-10-2008, 01:41 PM
This reminds me of a time my dad got a ticket for speeding in south dakota. (We were on vacation)

Alright, so we had to use the turn lane(Or overpass or whatever.) On one side, the speed limit was 60, and on the other, it was 40. Of course, a cop was parked nearby the road, waiting for his next victim. We were going 61 MPH, and the instant we went in the 40 mph zone, the cop came and pulled us over. My dad didn't seen the 40 MPH speed limit sign, because it was hidden behind a bush. The cop then left with a satified grin on his face, and gave my dad a $200 fine for speeding.

I agree with EW. Do some damage to this moron.

07-10-2008, 01:56 PM
Get a lawyer. Do not pass go.
Agreed. He should not have done what he did. Besides, I think that there is a camera always on during stops in a state troopers/police car. From what you told us, you did nothing wrong.

07-10-2008, 04:39 PM
Get a lawyer. Do not pass go.
Yup. And get a good one who will ask the right questions when the officer testifies in court. The right attorney can make the officer look like the power-mad agent of oppression that he was being. If and when you're found innocent your attorney can press the state for the reimbursement of your legal fees.

Since he was a statey and was looking for any excuse to search your vehicle, you might have requested that he call in a canine unit to give your vehicle and possessions the sniff test. This may not have solved anything, but it would have been a sign of good will and cooperation on your part. If the dog didn't pick up any scent from your car or your pipe, they would have probably sent you on your way. Having other officers on the scene could also have helped in that, if the original officer's pretext was iffy, they could have given their opinions on the matter and it might have gotten you out of being arrested unnecessarily and saved them a lot of paperwork in the process. Cooler heads and all that. ;)

As long as that pipe was never used for the consumption of anything but tobacco, and as long as your possession of the migraine medication was legal, you should have nothing to worry about from a legal standpoint. Those two things will be the deciding factors at this point.

In case anyone is wondering:
This is exactly the type of thing to which I am referring when I get so emotional and up-in-arms about oppressive government. The drug laws give the cops far too much freedom to harass the public, and in doing so they undermine the credibility of our criminal justice system in the eyes of the citizenry by making it look and act like an agent of tyranny. :usa:

Ray Jones
07-10-2008, 04:45 PM
Yeah, Insane. At least get some professional advice on that matter, possible that this rather strange acting cop would do more strange stuff in front of the judge. I hope this will turn out to be a fun story to tell the kids eventually. :)

The Doctor
07-10-2008, 05:31 PM
Sounds like a classic case of profiling, to me. Cops can be such *******s these days. They're more concerned about fulfilling some kind of quota than actual justice.

The cops in my area are no better. I was recently involved in a similar situation, though in my case I managed to call the officer on it, and he backed down when he realised that I knew he was full of it.

Though it seems as if your police officer friend was more stubborn than mine. -_- Good luck in court.

El Sitherino
07-10-2008, 06:04 PM
Well I was in the middle of a hypoglycemic fit, so my mind was not entirely there. I was merely focused on trying to get something to eat so I didn't pass out at this point, as well as making it to Fort Worth without falling asleep at the wheel. So I attempted to comply as much as possible.

07-10-2008, 06:39 PM
Compliance was a good idea. It can only help you in court.

07-10-2008, 06:45 PM
Compliance is definitely a good idea, and I completely agree with Jae...find yourself a good lawyer and make your appearance in court.

IMHO this guy was being a jackass unnecessarily. I'm all for cops doing their jobs because I understand without them that we would be in a much more lawless world than we already are, but I believe this was uncalled for and at most you deserved a warning for speeding, but seeing as how I'm not a cop and I wasn't there I can't make an accurate judgment on the situation merely state my opinion.

*On a side note...I drive to Dallas from San Angelo every weekend and I know about where you were even though I don't use 35.

07-10-2008, 06:55 PM
****ty. That sounds like something our local cops would do. Usually the state police behave a little more professional. **** the po-leece. Yeah, **** 'em.

07-10-2008, 07:01 PM
Woah! CapN's back from the abyss!

If this were a few years ago, I would have agreed with the whole **** the po-leece thing, but now I'm more like **** the passing of laws that give the police the go-ahead to behave in an oppressive fashion. I'm also all for the changing or abolition of such laws that are already on the books.

07-10-2008, 09:33 PM
Sorry about all of this, Slithy. It makes me sad to realize that the police can hold you for forty-eight hours without probably cause, and other laws that bash our rights. :(

Either way, I hope that you bash him in Court, and try to get some damage in on him. After all, it seems that he has a thing against people based on looks (as implied by the 'aggression after seeing your license picture had a mohawk on it).

I hope that the Judge realizes what an idiot that the Officer is/was, and I hope that you do well in Court.

07-12-2008, 06:14 PM
Get a lawyer. Do not pass go.

I wholeheartedly agree.
I am familiar with the concept of police harassment and know how the injustice can make people mad.

You seem to have a solid case.
Hopefully the judge is sensible.
At any rate, get a lawyer and go to the courts.

07-12-2008, 08:44 PM
I would tell the lawyer and court exactly what you just said in your opening post. If can get us up in arms enough to swear four times in one reply, I'm pretty sure your attourney (don't cut a corner on hiring him, and tell us what happens) can get this guy fired, jailed, fined... I don't care! :anvil:

07-12-2008, 09:04 PM
*sigh* Police are getting more and more violent.
They should do a full reference on people before they join (and by full, I mean all meds, school records...) and some every other year or so.

My dad, another cop, isn't like that. Hes more... of a typical dad that you might see on TV. Always overprotecting daughter.

07-12-2008, 11:46 PM
Many people are victim to half-truth propoganda and influence of stereotyping...

07-12-2008, 11:59 PM
*sigh* Police are getting more and more violent.
They should do a full reference on people before they join (and by full, I mean all meds, school records...) and some every other year or so.

My dad, another cop, isn't like that. Hes more... of a typical dad that you might see on TV. Always overprotecting daughter.
As you pointed out, one officer doesn't speak for them all. ;)

07-13-2008, 12:38 AM
As you pointed out, one officer doesn't speak for them all. ;)

But it only takes one to tarnish the reputation of all.