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Posted: 4/24/2001 7:51:15 AM EDT

'The high court, by a 5-4 vote, said the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which bans unreasonable arrests & searches does not limit police discretion to make arrests for minor traffic violations.'

Yet another step towards a police state. Little by little it is happening.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 7:56:23 AM EDT
If I am correct, the Constitution limits the powers of Congress, not the states, so they may be correct in this ruling.

Link Posted: 4/24/2001 7:57:34 AM EDT

I'm curious for your reasoning?  If a cop sees you make a traffic violation he certainly has proable cause to stop you and arrest you b/c a crime has been committed.   The 4th was to stop the police from battering down your door at home one night w/o any reason at all.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 7:59:34 AM EDT

Most of the BOR have been held to apply to the states although this was not always so.  The application of the BOR to the states really started in the 60's (big suprise) via the 14th amendment.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 8:51:51 AM EDT
The thing that get's me about the 4th is the "...secure in their persons,..." In fact, that's the first thing mentioned. To me, that means YOU. One could argue they need a warrant to search your body or your car.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 8:59:05 AM EDT
The person involved in this case was pulled over, hand cuffed and arrested and placed in jail for a first offence of not using a seatbelt.

This ruling allows states, cities and counties to arrest people for infractions of the law. for the uninitiated and infraction is less than a misdemeanor.

So now they can place you in jail for an infraction that requires no jail time even if the maximum penalty were imposed before you can pay the fine.

This does not sound good to me.

Link Posted: 4/24/2001 9:07:31 AM EDT
Thisisme has a pretty good handle on it.

I would just like to add that in the vast majority of traffic stops the driver is ticketed and sent on his way. However there is a small vocal minority of drivers who will refuse to show their license, registration, or proof of insurance when stopped. They will also refuse to sigh the notice to appear, even if you can get enough info out of them to fill out the ticket. In that case the cop has little choice but to arrest the driver and jail him until his court date, or until he provides enough info to fill out the ticket and signs the promise to appear.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 9:08:25 AM EDT
See the other thread on this topic. mods, this is a duplicate thread.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 9:08:37 AM EDT
Lets see - get pulled for a burnt out side marker. Get arrested and put in jail. Car gets towed and impounded. In the mean time of course they get to view all of the contents of your vehicle. The tow company and lot security borrow your possesions that were in the car. sounds like a great method for creating corruption to me.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 9:52:12 AM EDT
AR15fan, I thought LEO's already had the right to arrest if you refuse to sign the ticket?
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 9:53:56 AM EDT
AR15fan, I thought LEO's already had the right to arrest if you refuse to sign the ticket?
View Quote

Correct, this Supreme court ruling doesnt change anything. It only reaffirms what we have been doing all along.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 10:10:55 AM EDT
Two important points to remember:

What state are you in, and what was the violation?

In Arizona, over 90% of the traffic laws on the books are CIVIL violations.  These are not arrestable offenses.  Examples are Speeding (as long as it is not 21 mph above the posted limit, which would be criminal speed), failure to signal lane change, failure to stop at a stop sign, ect.  Examples of crimial traffic offenses: DUI, Criminal speed, Reckless endangerment.

In a civil traffic offense, the officer has no obligation to Mirandize the driver or any passengers, unless the contact leads him to believe that there may be CRIMINAL activity past/present/future.  In which case if the officer intends to ask questions, he must mirandize, because a normal person would not feel themselves free to leave.

In a civil traffic offense, there is not guilt/innoncence.  If taken to court, the officer must prove his case better than the person who allegedly commited the offense.  This is called proponderence of the evidence.  Basically, whichever side presents the best case wins.  In crimial cases, be they traffic or otherwise, the state prosecutes, using the testimony of the officer as evidence.  They must prove their case Beyond a Resonable Doubt.  This is a much higher standard.

Find out which traffic laws are civil or crimial in your state.  If arrested for an offense that is a civil violation, you have been the victim of false arrest.
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 10:16:43 AM EDT
Regarding signing tickets:

If you are being cited for a Civil offense, you can refuse to sign the ticket, depending on your state's laws.  In AZ, the officer can write, "served" or "refused" where the offender should sign.  He would give the appropriate copy to the driver, and that is all that is needed.  The signature only shows your receipt of the complaint, it doesn't admit responsibility.  

In a criminal matter, the officer may have discrecion to cite and release you (typically for misdemeanors, and certain class 6 felonies).  The signature only shows the person's promise to appear at court at the specified time and date, it doesn't admit guilt.  If the person refuses to sign, then the officer MUST arrest them, and take them before the magistrate.  Similarly if the Judge releases the offender on bond, but the person refuses to sign to acknowledge when they must appear next, the judge must retain them in custody.
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