I've posted numerous articles and links in SurvivalBlog that emphasize the importance of remaining silent whenever you are contacted by law enforcement officers. I strongly recommend that before reading the rest of this post, you take the time watch this lecture: Don't Talk To The Police, and take it to heart.
I've heard from several readers who say that that they've been pulled over by police officers on "fishing expeditions". The officers refused to let the motorists go, even though it was obvious that no crime had been committed. These readers did everything right. They presented their identification and proof of insurance, and repeated: "On the advice of my attorney, I am exercising my right to remain silent and I do not consent to any search." This has to be repeated over and over.
The officers pressed on, with all their usual tricks, to try to get the motorists to agree to an unconstitutional search. Repeated queries were made, with the words: "Officer, am I free to go?" Finally, after more than an hour, a supervising officer would arrive on the scene, and the entire litany would then be repeated, for the umpteenth time. Then they were finally allowed to continue their travel. This is real fun in southern states when the outside temperature is 100 degrees F and the temperature inside your car is even higher.
So what if an officer persists? What if it goes on for more than an hour? At that point, depending on your patience or the volume of your bladder, it might be time for Plan B. Here is what I recommend:
1.) Keep your hands in view, preferably resting at the classic "10 and 2 o'clock" position on your steering wheel. To make the officer feel more at ease, leave your hands there throughout the encounter unless specifically ordered by the officer to move them for some specific reason.
2.) When the officer approaches your window--or the passenger's side window, depending on the situation--roll the window down a crack and slowly and without and sudden movements hand him your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you are a CCW permit holder, then also hand him your CCW permit at the same time as the other paperwork, and tell the officer: "I am obliged to tell you that I am a concealed carry permit holder and that in accordance with the concealed carry law of ______ (state) I am carrying a ________ pistol/revolver/whatever, located ___________."
3.) If a traffic citation is issued, read it and then ask: "Am I free to go?" If you are told "Yes" then go. Don't stick around for any debates, lectures, or pleasantries.
4.) If the officer asks you any questions, say: "On the advice of my attorney, I am exercising my right to remain silent and I do not consent to any search. Am I free to go?"
5.) If the officer start playing fishing expedition games to try to trick you into consenting to a search, simply repeat: "On the advice of my attorney, I am exercising my right to remain silent and I do not consent to any search. Am I free to go?"
6.) Repeat this as many times as necessary.
7.) If this goes on for more than 20 minutes, then add the phrase: "You seem to be unreasonably delaying my freedom to travel. Please contact your supervising officer. Will you please do so?"
8.) If, after an hour you still cannot get permission to proceed, I recommend that you ask: "Officer, may I contact my attorney?" If permission is refused, of if you do not have a cell phone with you or you are not in a cell phone coverage area, then you will be in a bit of jam. Then, and only then, I recommend that you politely elevate the encounter with another series of questions:
A.) Ask: "Officer, please explain why you are arresting or detaining me?" He will probably answer: "You are not under arrest."
B.) Then ask: "So, am I free to go?"
C.) If the answer is still no, then ask: "Officer, I need to ask you: Are you familiar with the legal standards of Probable Cause, Reasonable Suspicion, and Plain View?" He will probably answer: "Yes I am" or perhaps: "What, are you some kind of an attorney?"
D.) Then ask: "Do you have Probable Cause to believe that I have committed or am about to commit a criminal offense?"
E.) If the answer is no, then ask: "Am I free to go?" If the answer is no, then ask: Then ask: "Do you have Reasonable Suspicion to believe that I have committed or am about to commit a criminal offense?"
F.) If the answer is no, then ask: "Am I free to go?"If the answer is no, then ask: "Is there anything that you see on my vehicle in your Plain View that would lead you to believe that I have committed or am about to commit a criminal offense?"
G.) If the answer is no, then ask: "Am I free to go?" If the answer is no, then ask: "Is there some new legal doctrine or standard that I am not aware of that would give you cause to detain me? Please explain."
H.) If the officer gets obstinate and orders you out of your car, and declares that he (or they) are going to conduct a search or you witness them initiating a search, or they tell you to wait while a K-9 unit is being be summoned, you should ask: "Officer: Are you familiar with the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree legal precept? I must warn you that this is an nonconsensual and unconstitutional search and that anything that you might find will not be admissible as evidence. I must insist that you cease this search. By continuing, you are opening yourself up to litigation and I will not hesitate to sue both you personally, and your Department. Because you are proceeding with a clearly unconstitutional search you will not benefit from any immunity. "
Memorize these phrases, and their sequence. Beyond them, I don't know what else I can recommend.
Note that almost everything that I have recommended that you say should be IN THE FORM OF A QUESTION. This keeps the officer on the defensive at all times.
May God Bless you, in your travels. Be safe out there! - JWR