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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 04-22-2009, 08:17 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by BlackZRoadster View Post
Just one dumb question about random search and arrest

What if for no reason a cop just pulls over a car randomly , and inside finds a dead body. Would that case be thrown out if the cop admitted he just had nothing to do and randomly pulled over a car/truck? If the cop was dumb enough to say he randomly pulled someone over?
Well I believe it was R v. C-something where something like that happened at night. The courts found that merely looking into the vehicle was part of the routine duties performed by officers during vehicle stops. That in and of itself would not constitute a search. It was only considered a search in R v mellenthin because of the questions the officer asked pertaining to the gym bag.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #27
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Anything in plain view is fair game. That is, anything that can be seen without moving or opening something in order to be seen. However, if while opening up a man-purse to get a drivers licence and the police officer is able to see weapons or drugs inside that man purse, the contents able to be seen are now considered plain view.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:25 PM   #28
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nipples, I think you're distracted by a perception that police can and do pull over random vehicles and search the vehicle and occupants however they please, whether there is a legal reason to pull the vehicle and search it or not, and that some police use Counter-Attack programs to facilitate such arbitrary searches.

All the case law you bring up is quite valid, though you're warping the context to suite your point of view. Any police officer worth his or her weight would be attentive to anything and everything going on within a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop or a Counter-Attack road block. If that includes the fact that there is an overwhelming odour of fresh marijuana in the vehicle, that police officer better be asking that driver to pull to the side and conducting a CDSA investigation. Its not so different as catching prohibited and unlicenced drivers in the same road block or traffic stop.
Yup. I agree with you. If the officer smells marijuana, sees a body, or the inside of the car is packed with white snowy powder of some sort, they've got probable grounds and SHOULD do everything within his or her power to throw the river away. I'm all for that.

However, I'm merely saying that in my opinion (in addition to MANY others) that the powers that be have been heading down a slippery slope situation by allowing the use of roadblocks. Although I understand their importance in saving countless innocent lives, I also think that the (so hotly debated) roadblock use allows officers the opportunity to 'warp' (as you put it) the programs' intended purpose into a vehicle for other police duties. A situation which would never have been possible.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:29 PM   #29
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Anything in plain view is fair game. That is, anything that can be seen without moving or opening something in order to be seen. However, if while opening up a man-purse to get a drivers licence and the police officer is able to see weapons or drugs inside that man purse, the contents able to be seen are now considered plain view.
But it should be mentioned that the drivers license/insurance papers and ONLY the drivers license and insurance papers. You are under no obligation to provide and or obtain any other piece of physical property within your car to the police. I say physical cause I dont count breath a physical. Kinda like your garbage waiting for pickup/bloody tissue.

On a different note: have any officers ever asked the driver to hand over a gun? lol

Anyways, those are the only 3 pieces you are required by law to present to the officer upon request. Don't be stupid and show them your backpack, gym bag, trunk, glove compartment etc. I'm not saying to be paranoid. But why open a door when no good can EVER come out of it?
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:11 PM   #30
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That case law you have posted up Nipples, I haven't read it over, but looking at what you have written I think the problem was how it came from an impaired driving investigation to finding what was in the gym bag in the back seat. There has to be a logical progression in the sequence of events that lead the officer into that gym bag for it to be held up in court and I am guessing in this case, something didn't sit right with the officer and his gut feeling was right.

Everything I have found at an impaired driving road block in addition to drunk drivers has always resulted in convictions. My primary target is drunk drivers, but other stuff always comes out of it for whatever reason and my job as a police officer is to investigate it. If I'm not doing anything stupid, it will always hold up.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:32 PM   #31
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^shouldn't you be sleeping?
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Five-Oh View Post
That case law you have posted up Nipples, I haven't read it over, but looking at what you have written I think the problem was how it came from an impaired driving investigation to finding what was in the gym bag in the back seat. There has to be a logical progression in the sequence of events that lead the officer into that gym bag for it to be held up in court and I am guessing in this case, something didn't sit right with the officer and his gut feeling was right.
The police directed appellant's vehicle into a check stop set up as part of a program to check vehicles. One of the officers shone a flashlight in the interior of the appellant's vehicle. This was an appropriate action to ensure the safety of the officers conducting the check point. The flashlight inspection revealed an open gym bag on the front seat. The officer asked what was inside the bag, was told food and shown a paper bag with a plastic sandwich bag in it. When the officer noticed empty glass vials, of the type commonly used to store cannabis resin, he asked the appellant to get out of the car, searched the car and found vials of hash oil and some cannabis resin cigarettes. The appellant later gave an incriminating statement at the police detachment.

The subsequent questions pertaining to the gym bag were improper. The officer had no suspicion that drugs or alcohol were in the vehicle or in appellant's possession when the questions were asked. Appellant's words, actions or manner of driving showed no sign of impairment. The primary aim of check stop programs, which result in the arbitrary detention of motorists, is to check for sobriety, licences, ownership, insurance and the mechanical fitness of cars. The police use of check stops should not be extended beyond these aims. Random stop programs must not be turned into a means of either conducting an unfounded general inquisition or an unreasonable search.

The production of the gym bag and its contents did not come with appellant's consent. An arbitrary detention occurred as soon as appellant was pulled over. It can reasonably be inferred that the appellant felt compelled to respond to questions put to him by the police officer. In those circumstances the Crown must adduce evidence that the person detained had indeed made an informed consent to the search based upon an awareness of his or her rights to refuse to respond to the questions or to consent to the search. There is no such evidence here. The appellant felt compelled to respond to the police questions and as a result the search was not consensual.

just incase anyone is wondering what the facts of the case.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:24 AM   #33
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That case law you have posted up Nipples, I haven't read it over, but looking at what you have written I think the problem was how it came from an impaired driving investigation to finding what was in the gym bag in the back seat. There has to be a logical progression in the sequence of events that lead the officer into that gym bag for it to be held up in court and I am guessing in this case, something didn't sit right with the officer and his gut feeling was right.
I agree. And in times when there is a logical progression based on reasonable belief that a crime has or will occur then the officer should have every right to follow through.
However, a simple question - "what's in the bag" or even "where're you going?" asked in what at other times may be seen as trivial, in this situation would result in the driver answering and possibly landing in more touble than they bargained for.
In all honesty, if the police had reasonable grounds to conduct the search...believe me, they will not be asking you what the contents are. They're well within their right to take it from you and search it.

Officers - am I right? If you have a warrant or the right to serach...would you be asking "what's in the bag?" "would you mind if I looked in the bag" or would you do it? I'm more than certain it'd be the latter.

Quote:
Everything I have found at an impaired driving road block in addition to drunk drivers has always resulted in convictions. My primary target is drunk drivers, but other stuff always comes out of it for whatever reason and my job as a police officer is to investigate it. If I'm not doing anything stupid, it will always hold up.
I believe the main reason for your success rate is in the words "In addition to drunk drivers". This is the way it should be. If they're drunk, or you suspect them under the influence of something other than alcohol based on their behaviour etc, and you follow up and find a severed head and a basketball full of coke...congratulations!

But if you found a basketball full of coke when the car was fine, the driver was normal, and the car was not stolen....all during an impaired road block...something's amiss!

This is the point I wanted to make. That despite the best of intentions and what my personal thoughts are on whether drugs and or weapons should be removed from the hands of individuals with nothing but bad intentions with them...there are officers who can not resist the ease at which evidence can be obtained as a result of these roadblocks.

So I say again....the person who thought of the drunk driving + roadcheck = best possible excuse for any officer to stop, detain, and question is a genius!!
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:36 AM   #34
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Officers - am I right? If you have a warrant or the right to serach...would you be asking "what's in the bag?" "would you mind if I looked in the bag" or would you do it? I'm more than certain it'd be the latter.


You'd be surprised what people have said to me.... why WOULDNT you ask?? the innocents generally are always willing to show me "whats in the bag"
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:13 PM   #35
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^ But did you at the time of questioning them about the contents of the bag believe or suspect the individual played a role in the commission of a crime, or would play a role in the commission of a crime? If not, and the contents of the bag did not pertain to any of the 3 reasons for the roadstop (license in the bag) then that question is improper and anything found or told to you subsequent to it is questionable.
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