Riding dirty? Refuse searches, try to relax, and some other pointers.

By now you know that you should never consent to a search of your car. But what if you actually have a joint in the console (terrible hiding place by the way), or you are a mule and worried the popo will find the package? Same advice, just say no to a search.

A few pieces of advice.

  1. Get through the traffic investigation quickly. Once the police finish their traffic investigation they need another reason to hold you. That is, they need probable cause or reasonable suspicion of some other crime to keep your ass on the side of the road. Now how long does it take to investigate a speeding offense? A few minutes tops, but the law also gives the cops time to run your license and see if you have any warrants. Then they can decide to give you a ticket or citation, or not. That is when they need another reason if they want to keep you. So have your license and insurance handy. Make sure everyone in the car is warrant-free (and preferably criminal history free), and has a similar story on where you are going and what you are doing. Also, make sure the damn car doesn’t smell like weed. Seriously people, rookie mistake.
  2. Don’t act nervous- Being nervous isn’t enough by itself to think you are carrying drugs. But it appears as a factor in a lot of appellate cases. Make sure your hands don’t shake, and you don’t talk really fast or act evasive. Be cool, look the officer in the eye and be really nice. That’s how you play it.
  3. Make sure you story makes sense- Have a car with Nevada plates? You better have a reason for why you were there, or who’s car it is. Also, where are you headed? Why? Does your luggage match your story? That is, is your truck empty and you’ve been at a wedding? Where are your clothes for whatever event you were at.
  4. Bonus Travel Tip- Drugs go east from Dallas, and drug couriers don’t stay in town long. So stay in town a while, keep some receipts, have a reason to be in Big D. Watch a Ranger game, enjoy the sights of the Metroplex.
  5. Stuff not to have in your car- too much air freshener, too many cell phones, drug paraphernalia, nothing (if your story is you are traveling to a big event and staying for a few days, then why didn’t you pack?)
  6. Am I free to go? Just ask, politely. If they say yes, get the fuck out of there.
  7. The drug dog is coming!- Here is the deal, if the cops are calling the dogs you can’t do anything about it. But the law has changed so the police need to have a reason to keep you there, even for a little bit, and get the dog there in a timely manner.
  8. What else? Don’t be a minority, don’t be in a rental car, don’t have out-of-state plates.
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