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CA Supreme Court rules on bike case . . .(16 posts)

CA Supreme Court rules on bike case . . .morrison
Mar 5, 2002 7:14 AM
Of course, this one arguably will have no effect on any of you unless you have a penchant for wrong-way-cycling-with-a-bindle-of-meth-in-your-sock. (Actually, this ranks right up there with intervals for me.)

It seems that this unlucky chap was riding the wrong way down a one-way street when he was spotted by the local constable. The officer, probably noting a telltale mullet haircut, and perhaps a sawed off kryptonite lock dangling from the top-tube, executed a traffic stop. He asked the cyclist, er-meth-head, for identification. When none was produced, he arrested the young man, searched him, and discovered the contraband.

The court ruled that the arrest, and subsequent search incident thereto, were legal, notwithstanding the fact that the vehicle infraction was not an arrestable offense. Apparently, the absence of identification justified the officer's actions. This decision appears to be in line with recent federal authority.

There is no point to this post other than (1) if you plan on using your bike to transport narcotics, you ought to bring your license with you, and (2) if you plan to avail yourself of the benefits of the Fourth Amendment, move to another locale.
Whatever you do, don't go to the Phillipines...Slipstream
Mar 5, 2002 8:26 AM
A few years ago a headline in a Manilla paper read:

"Police Shoot and Kill Man To Prevent Him From Committing Suicide"

Maybe we can start a fund and send CC there...
re: CA Supreme Court rules on bike case . . .DINOSAUR
Mar 5, 2002 9:34 AM
I read that article in the paper this morning. I pack I.D. with me when I ride (drivers license). Basically it's for I.D. in case I crash, although I pack dog tags also.

Then again, I don't transport meth and they are welcome to give me a pat down search as long as they don't mind that I'm all sweaty.

I think the deciding factor is that the cyclist was under arrest when he was stopped for a traffic infraction. Before you had to be physically arrested before they could pat you down, or they had to have reasonable cause or a concern for their safety. Now the courts are saying that infractions are arrestable offenses.
As I understood it,TJeanloz
Mar 5, 2002 9:54 AM
The traffic infraction was not an arrestable offense, the inability to produce I.D. was.
Correct. A traffic infraction is an arrestable offense . . .morrison
Mar 5, 2002 10:05 AM
in 2 situations: 1. Inability to produce I.D.; 2. Refusal to sign the citation. In the second instance, the officer then can take you before a magistrate for arraignment on the citation. The bad news is that, in California, they have 3 court days to do that (ouch). You can sit in jail until then, unless you post bond. (Usually the amount of the citation.)
Wait a second....PaulCL
Mar 5, 2002 10:41 AM
It's against the law to not carry some sort of state or federal ID? What's next..identity papers?

I carry an ID card while on my bike, but not my drivers' license since I'm not driving! So what now? When I take a walk in the evening with my wife, I have to carry ID in case some cop wants to check me out! Insane.
Welcome to the land of the free. Actually, . . .morrison
Mar 5, 2002 10:47 AM
it's not a crime not to have i.d.. It's just that the cops have the right to detain you until they are satisfied of your true identity. Also, they do not have the right to demand that you produce identification unless there is reasonable suspicion to suspect that a crime has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, or unless there is some public safety exception. Reasonable suspicion, of course, is less than 'probable cause,' but more than a 'mere rumor or hunch.'

Sounds amorphous? It is! This is one of the primary weapons in local law enforcement's arsenal. I would wager that 90% of the time the i.d. check is aimed at a male person of color between the ages of 14 and 35. It's really quite horrific, but it is the law of the land.
I think we've had this discussion before,TJeanloz
Mar 5, 2002 10:49 AM
And the crux of the matter is that you need to identify yourself to a law enforcement authority if asked. I don't think it necessarily has to be a state or federal I.D.- a friend who has identified themself can 'vouch' that you are who you say you are. It is illegal to misrepresent your identity to the police.
Mar 5, 2002 12:04 PM
relax, noones gonna haul you downtown. As morrison stated, the police only have the right to DETAIN you for not having ID.

Without this powerful authority, we would have a hard time catching wanted criminals, as they would simply carry-on without ID.

Although they have the authority to, no policeman will detain you for IDless unless you are partaking in questionable activity.

If your that worried about such infringement of your rights, carry your blockbuster card with you.
As I understood it,DINOSAUR
Mar 5, 2002 3:12 PM
Ca. law states that if a person stopped for a traffic infraction (not a bookable offense) can not provide satisfactory proof of identification the officer can take forthwith.

If I understand what is going on now, the courts are saying that a infraction is an arrestable offense.

Remember the big debate a couple of months ago about the lady who was booked for driving her kids around without safety restraints (an infraction)?

Years ago a lot of traffic violations were misdemeanors, then they became infractions. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way....
re: CA Supreme Court rules on bike case . . .wsexson
Mar 5, 2002 8:47 PM
I don't ride the wrong way down one way streets (or the wrong side of two way streets), and I haven't even seen crystal meth - much less stashed some in my sock. I am going to stick my DL in my seat bag whenever I ride from now on. I don't claim to understand the law, but I find the idea that simply not having ID constitutes probable cause for a pat-down a little scary.
yes - but here is the rub:sodade
Mar 6, 2002 4:20 AM
Running a stop sign or red light on a bicycle counts as a regular moving offence - which means that the ticket goes on your DRIVING record (which means all kinds of horribly inflated financial reprecussions).

If you carry your driver's license with you when you bike, you are more likely to get a ticket. But NOW, if you don't have your papers (license), the jackbooted thugs can arrest you! Or they can search you and find that plant you were planning on smoking when you got to the trail.
kinda disagree with you thereSteve1
Mar 6, 2002 4:39 AM
(about the idless being cause for a patdown scary).

MOST (not all - i often dont) law-abiding people have ID with them. Many criminals do not (simply because they dont want to be identified), or at least do not admit to having one, even if they do.

A patdown is a quick, legal method of determining if the detainee is lying (actually had ID), or has reason to hide his identity.

Sure, it SOUNDS like an infringement upon our rights, knowing we're law-abiding citizens, but put the whole picture in perspective.

Policeman are people. All but the most corrupt will have no trouble drawing a distinction between an id-less loiterer on the street-corner at 3:00am, and an id-less avid lycra-clad cyclist who is keeping a 21mph pace.
you ought to carry an IDtarwheel
Mar 6, 2002 5:09 AM
I carry a Xerox copy of my driver's license and medical insurance card, sealed in plastic in my seatbag at all times. Since I don't conduct criminal offenses on my bike, I'm not worried about getting arrested. However, if I get hit by a car or wreck, and I'm knocked unconscious or serious injured, I sure want the police/EMTs to know who I am so they can contact my family and take me to the hospital. Guys, you gotta use some common sense. What's more important? The very slight risk that a policeman might want to look at your ID and possibly ticket you for running a stop sign, or the risk that you might delay medical treatment in the event of a serious injury.
my IDSteve1
Mar 6, 2002 5:26 AM
personally, i rarely carry official ID (hate wallets).

I always have a dogtag on, which details my name, address, phone, parents phone, insurance carrier, insurance plan number, and 'NO PEN'.... that covers medical.

As far as legalities... i keep my DL in my car, and a duplicate in my motorcycle.

Im willing to risk the EXTREMELY remote chance of a personal search for my convenience of not being dependant upon a wallet.
Is the Domo team training in San Diego again? (nm)King
Mar 7, 2002 12:46 AM