Skip to comments.Pa. Supreme Court ruling: Cops discuss warrantless searches, probable cause
Posted on 05/03/2014 1:00:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog
This weeks Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on warrantless vehicle searches has motorists wondering when a cop will be rummaging through their car.
The ruling now permits police to search a vehicle without a drivers consent or a judges signature on a warrant.
Local police professionals, however, say little will change as far as who is subjected to searches.
They claim it all comes down to an officer having probable cause, as the high-court ruling states.
What exactly is probable cause? What qualifies as means for an officer to search a vehicle?
There must be probable cause that there is evidence of a crime or contraband in the car, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Thursday. Traffic stops will not get (an officer) into a car, unless there is a lot of other evidence.
Stedman and other local police professionals say the legal standard for a search hasnt changed at all.
(Excerpt) Read more at lancasteronline.com ...
You look nervous?
Driving an out-of-state rental car?
Officer: “I smell x, y, or z”. Bingo, probable cause.
It really doesn’t matter either way if they wanna search they will get one and you will just have to wait! At home they call the canine unit and if he hits! Your gonna be searched.
Cop: Your honor, he had a tail light out, which was clear evidence to me that he is a slovenly individual who cares little about personal safety, and is therefore likely a drunk or drug dealer.
Citizen: But as it turns out, my tail light was not, in fact, out.
Judge: That's OK. There's a good-faith exemption. What did you find?
Cop: We found an unloaded 45 caliber pistol in a case, which the defendant is licensed to carry.
Judge: That's not a crime yet.
Citizen: Great, may I have my gun back?
Cop: Submit a request and you may see it again in five or six years.
What if I have probable cause to search a cop's car?
As we have seen lately, all it takes are Colorado license plates.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Today, it's more of an either-or, unless the police feel like waiving both requirements on their own initiative. This was a predictable result of the "Living Constitution", and it will get worse. Liberals and the ACLU claim to stand for these rights, but that turns out only to be true when their favored criminals are inconvenienced. Conservatives want to protect those rights equally for all - a goal that the far left describes as "racist".
I guarantee that they receive more training on how to find “probable cause” than on any other aspect of police work.
Looking nervous? I like the fact that a subjective assessment is now a fact to justify probable cause.
The way things are now, you’d have to be semi-comatose not to be a little nervous when stopped by a cop.
A Federal Court in New Mexico just rule that “stiff” driving posture is reason enough to pull someone over. There’s a thread here about it.
All of which comes down to defining the terms “unreasonable” and “probable cause.”
“Looking nervous? I like the fact that a subjective assessment is now a fact to justify probable cause.
The way things are now, youd have to be semi-comatose not to be a little nervous when stopped by a cop.”
Just don’t clench your butt cheeks holding back a fart. Or you’ll get a search you won’t forget. Cops are nuts.
Apparently Pennsylvania had a higher standard in which a warrant was required in addition to probable cause. Now that's changed to where probable cause is enough, and a warrant isn't always required, which is constitutional. You're drama isn't necessary.
I wonder how they get away with warrant-less searches in Mississippi - we pay property taxes on our vehicles and they are considered an extension of our homes for legal purposes.