Tuesday, June 28, 2011
One of my favorite things I've been able to do through SSDP is present information on how to handle yourself in a police encounter. A question commonly asked during this sessions is, "what's the of point denying consent to a search? If a cop wants to search your car, they'll search it anyway." Well, NFL Defensive Tackle and former Florida State University student Darnell Dockett successfully asserted his rights yesterday during a police encounter Monday. Darnell even provided play-by-play live Tweets of the police stop!
The Tweets are understandably abrasive in tone (and profanely hilarious), but tell the story Dockett maintaining his cool and display his willingness to wait out the officers who had no grounds for a search. Because Dockett asserted his rights, he came out a winner.
To further address the question posed earlier in the post, yes, it is true the police may decide to violate your rights and search without your consent. BUT... by denying consent to all police searches, you have a much better chance winning in court. The consequences for failing to deny consent to a search may range from destruction of your property (if the police break your stuff during a search you consented to, good luck getting compensation) to conviction and jail time for a crime you may not have even committed. Be respectful and courteous, but be sure to deny consent.
For more information on how to handle police encounters like a pro, check out our friends, Flex Your Rights, and their outstanding rights training movie, 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police.