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Christopher Wilde
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beware! Continued

Here in Utah we often hear in the news of vehicles being pulled over, the driver "consenting" to a search and multiple pounds of marijuana or some other such drug in quantity being discovered.  On first blush you wonder what kind of an idiot carrying drugs consents to a search?  You may even consider that anyone carrying that many drugs is an idiot.

But let's face it the more likely scenario is that the police get a tip off, pull over the driver based on an inside or anonymous tip and search the vehicle claiming the driver consented to the search.  Who's the court going to believe, the cop of the guy with a hundred pounds of pot in his car?

OK, you say, but I don't run drugs this doesn't apply to me?  We'll just consider, you are driving down the highway and unbeknownst to you your third (upper) break light goes out.  A state trooper pulls you over.  That alone is grounds for a complete search of your vehicle and person.  Ladies, how about a pat down every time you exceed the speed limit, or maybe just because you were talking on your cell phone?

More importantly, there is a thinner line that has been crossed here.  It's a line of restraint.  While the vast majority of our police officers would never ever violate a law themselves, what about those that aren't so straight and narrow.  How much easier do you want the line of justice to be dependent upon their word over yours, because, I promise you every time it comes down to that they win.  With fewer and fewer restraints placed on law enforcement they have less and less incentive to consider restraint.

One last thing to think about here.  You are pulled over and under go a massive violation of your civil rights.  Do you have the money, the time, the energy to accept the blight on your life it takes to pursue a protection of your rights?


Here are some Utah related search and seizure stories:

UHP nets second big pot bust in as many days

Search and Seizure: US Supreme Court to Decide Warrantless Search Case

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Jesse James TIBBETTS, Defendant-Appellee

I cite this last case because it is important to note the very flimsy pretext police officers will use to pull someone over, in this case it was because of a "gleaming" necklace, that flashed off the windshield.  The officer confirmed this when he pulled alongside of the vehicle, he then sought other causes to pull the driver over, despite that those other causes proved not to be a violation of law.

You get to read about this case because their were drugs in the vehicle, you DON'T get to read about all the people who get pulled over and harassed who have no drugs.

Just stop and think about it, are you going to spend a fortune to pursue a violation of your rights and civil liberties if no citation was filed?   Don't make the mistake of assuming that this is about a drug war, the other side of the story is that for the law abiding citizen when your rights are violated typically they stay that way.

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