5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide) | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

23 Feb

When something as stupid as stopping people from possessing marijuana came to be considered a critical law enforcement function, innocence ceased to protect people against police harassment. From the streets of the Bronx to the suburbs of the Nation’s Capital, you never have to look hard to find victims of the bias, incompetence, andcorruption that the drug war delivers on a daily basis.

Whether or not you ever break the law, you should be prepared to protect yourself and your property just in case police become suspicious of you. Let’s take a look at one of the most commonly misunderstood legal situations a citizen can encounter: a police officer asking to search your belongings. Most people automatically give consent when police ask to perform a search. However, I recommend saying “no” to police searches, and here are some reasons why:

1. It’s your constitutional right.

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless police have strong evidence (probable cause) to believe you’re involved in criminal activity, they need your permission to perform a search of you or your property….

2. Refusing a search protects you if you end up in court. …

3. Saying “no” can prevent a search altogether. …

4. Searches can waste your time and damage your property. …

via 5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide) | Civil Liberties | AlterNet.

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