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  #1  
Old 05-05-2014, 03:17 AM
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Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

Pennsylvania police officers no longer need a warrant to search a citizen’s vehicle, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Drivers in the state used to be able to refuse a warrantless search, but now their vehicles can be subject to search when a police officer determines there is “reasonable probable cause” to do so, the Intelligencer Journal reported.

The high court’s ruling, passed on a 4-2 vote, is being called a drastic change in citizens’ rights and police authority, the paper said.

“This is a significant change in long-standing Pennsylvania criminal law, and it is a good one,” said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman. “This case gives the police simpler guidelines to follow and (it) finally and clearly renders our law consistent with established federal law.”

“It is a ruling that helps law enforcement as they continue to find people in possession of illegal drugs,” said New Holland police Lt. Jonathan Heisse.

But critics say the ruling gives too much power to the police and will infringe on citizens’ privacy.
“It’s an expanding encroachment of government power,” defense attorney Jeffrey Conrad told the paper. “It’s a protection we had two days ago, that we don’t have today. It’s disappointing from a citizens’ rights perspective.”

In a dissent, Justice Debra Todd said the decision “contravenes over 225 years of unyielding protection against unreasonable search and seizure.” She calls the change “diametrically contrary to the deep historical and legal traditions” of Pennsylvania.

washingtontimes

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Old 05-05-2014, 04:08 AM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

I thought 'reasonable cause' gave cops the right to search cars anyway? For example, if you are pulled over for speeding and when the officer gets to your window he sees a handgun on your seat, that is 'reasonable cause'. Or if the handgun is a joint or a baggie of cocaine or heroin or something. So what do they consider 'reasonable cause'? Obviously this can be abused by law enforcement but so can any law. I just thought this was already a thing. Maybe that's what they meant by catching up to the federal law?

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Old 05-05-2014, 12:33 PM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

Disgusting, I'm sick of all the power we keep giving the fucking pigs in this country.

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Old 05-05-2014, 12:39 PM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search


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Old 05-05-2014, 06:26 PM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

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Originally Posted by Cads View Post
Disgusting, I'm sick of all the power we keep giving the fucking pigs in this country.
And who the FUCK are you going to call when your life is in danger, dude?

Your fucking friends?

What are they going to do?

Let's just wipe out ALL law enforcement and see what happens to us, okay?

Ignorant jackass.

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Old 05-05-2014, 06:39 PM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

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Originally Posted by Matti View Post
And who the FUCK are you going to call when your life is in danger, dude?

Your fucking friends?

What are they going to do?

Let's just wipe out ALL law enforcement and see what happens to us, okay?

Ignorant jackass.
Exactly! Cops are human like the rest of us. I agree some are slimebuckets, but most are decent folk who want to help others and maintain order.

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:10 PM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

Take a deep breath everyone...it's not that big of a deal. Ok, first off, the decision will be appealed and will be shot down.

Offices still need to have "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause" to search. Reasonable suspicion is usually defined as, "a legal standard of proof that is less than probable cause, but more than an unparticularized suspecision or hunch." It must be based on specific and articulable facts that, taken together with rational inferences form the basis of those facts. The whole reasonable suspecision thing is based on what a "reasonable police officer" would think or do. In simple English, the cops could, reasonably suspect a person has been, is, or is about to engage in criminal activity, based upon the totality of circumstances, and search the vehicle. In other words, if the cop saw the driver or passenger throw something out the window, smelled marijuana, saw evidence of drug use, noticed the driver or passengers were under the influence, the driver tried to elude the officer, or based on comments made by the driver or passenger, then the cop can search the vehicle. Duh!

Probable cause is, a reasonable amount of suspecision, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious officer's belief that certain facts are probably true. This is also he standard by which warrants are obtained and grand juries indict.

Of course, this decision will allow overly aggressive or dishonest officers a big giant hole to randomly search vehicles for no other reason than for a fishing expedition. You can still respectfully refuse to give consent to a search and let the evidence (if any is found) be based solely on the officer's reasonable suspecision, which the court may or may not allow. You can also respectfully refuse to answer any questions other than your name, date of birth, etc. But be prepared to spend the night in jail.

The bottom line is keep a low profile. Don't lip off, don't have contraband in plain site, don't drive while high, don't be careless, and above all be polite and respectful. There has to be a reason to pull you over in the first place before any of this comes into play. The folks in PA are just going to need to be very very careful until this works it way through the courts. It's not he end of the world.

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:45 PM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

They search anyway. They just say, OK we're going to get our dog. Then they say the dog signaled and look anyway.

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Old 05-06-2014, 03:17 AM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

Saw a video where the cops motioned the dog in a particular way that caused it to signal and there's your probable cause.

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Old 05-06-2014, 04:45 AM
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Re: Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Search

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Originally Posted by Darkest Angel View Post
Saw a video where the cops motioned the dog in a particular way that caused it to signal and there's your probable cause.
Yeah whenever I see a cop with a K-9 unit on Cops they always point at or tap places for the dog to sniff at. A dog barks and someone gets arrested. Does the dog take the stand in court?

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