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mayko
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[*] posted on 30-9-2016 at 10:04


(every situation is different and I'm not qualified to give legal advice but...)

Asserting one's rights isn't legal grounds for suspicion so far as I am aware, and if the police treat it as such, you really might be better off getting the warrant anyway. (In fact, in my years of refusing consent to search, I've been frequently told it was suspicious and even threatened with arrest for it, but in all cases the cops were transparently bluffing). It's the job of the police to treat everyone as a suspect (as many victims learn upon reporting crime). By the time they're knocking on your door, I wouldn't bank on trying to talk your way out of suspicion, or allay it by surrendering your rights.

Should they decide to go ahead and search your place (or if they've already decided), the warrant is unlikely to hurt you, and may well help. It'll take a lawyer to do so, and that'll be a pain, but once the knock arrives, it's possible, maybe even probable that it's a sunk cost. (With the FBI involved, I certainly hope that the OP has lawyered up already!) I got busted some years ago, and I'll obviously never know what would have happened if I'd ceded my rights, but I am confident that asserting them helped the outcome.

The case of Byron Sonne and Kristen Peterson is a good (pragmatic) counterexample to the idea that only the guilty have something to hide: that they possessed only the materials for legitimate amateur rocketry didn't stop the cops from charging them as terrorists.
http://boingboing.net/2012/04/01/closing-week-of-torontos-g2...

This is more about why it's often best to remain silent, but many of the principles discussed apply (pay attention to the discussion of documentation, for example):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE




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[*] posted on 30-9-2016 at 10:42


I still vehemently disagree. If the police are decent, level-headed people then allowing them to search without a warrant shows that you don't have anything to hide and are willing to cooperate. If they're assholes who have you pegged as guilty from the get-go and will go out of their way to invade your privacy, I don't see how having a search warrant is going to make anything better. Whether it's legal grounds for suspicion or not means absolutely nothing. Even if they have no real evidence against you, you can be sure that if someone reports you again they're going to go into it with negative predispositions, whereas if you were open and polite to them the first time they might even blow it off.

You can't pretend that the law is some blind and totally logical system where inherently suspicious actions are not treated as such simply because they are legal. Innocent until proven guilty is a great principle, but unfortunately it doesn't always hold up in practice.

See Tdep's story for an example of how cooperating with the police can work out just fine: It finally happened, the police showed up




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aga
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[*] posted on 30-9-2016 at 11:10


From the police's point of view, everyone they interview says they are innocent.

Add to that the fact that they deal 99% of the time with criminal scumbags, it must be near impossible for them to believe a single word anyone ever says.




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[*] posted on 30-9-2016 at 13:55


If the police come with a warrant, they get to search.
If they come without one then I get to show them stuff.

One is considerably more invasive than the other.
In my situation, the only reason for them to come knocking is because something has been intercepted at customs and it is policy for them to follow up on all such leads. In this case the minimal paperwork and minimal interruption the better.

In alive&kickin's case, he needs every protection he can get. This means warrants, lawyers, advice, testimonials and whatever else is needed.

I feel for you, a&k.



[edit]

I should add that I am in Aus -- along with Tdep and others. A&k is in the US IIRC. Not the same jurisdiction. The two situations are not directly comparable.
I have had two police visits so far -- and will probably get more. The first was fairly painless. The second was a bit nasty and unfair and my glassware was confiscated at the border. A warrant would not have helped me at all.

[Edited on 30-9-2016 by j_sum1]




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[*] posted on 30-9-2016 at 14:12


'Reasons Why' is the key.

Nothing to do with Rockets or Science.

Advertise (in any way) anything that involves drugs or explosives and the police would be Negligent-In-Duty to NOT investigate you.

Basically, Humanity as a whole cannot cope with endless knowledge.

Individual human elements go all Ape with little bits of knowledge and blow things up for absolutely no comprehensible reason.

The Police are there to try to preserve a semblance of sanity in a world that has mostly been behaving insanely.

Damned hard job.




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mayko
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[*] posted on 1-10-2016 at 07:33


Asking for a warrant isn't uncooperative, and it doesn't have to be rude or combative ("It's a nice night; let's talk out here on the porch."). Getting a warrant if asked is literally part of their job. It's what the police are paid to do. If they're decent folks, they won't mind following the protocol they're hired to carry out, and they won't hold it against you. ("Just do your job, officer.")

Quote:
If they're assholes who have you pegged as guilty from the get-go and will go out of their way to invade your privacy, I don't see how having a search warrant is going to make anything better.


There are several ways asking for a warrant can help. For one thing, the police typically can only get one by convincing a magistrate that they have probable cause for a search. Usually, this happens when the police submit an affidavit justifying their suspicions, and here is where "legal grounds for suspicion" actually does mean something. The magistrate then may or may not agree with their justification (the search may or may not happen). They may well decide it isn't worth it.

Another is that in getting a warrant, they usually have to describe what they're looking for and the scope of their search. They can still charge you for anything they find, but evidence they find might be challenged as being outside the scope of the warrant. It also defines where they're looking (for example, if they are following a tip about an E&W lab, your sock drawer might be out of bounds - why would they expect bomb-making materials there?) You don't get these protections if you just let them meander through your dwelling.

Here's another. Should they get a warrant, conduct a search, and press charges, the warrant becomes a rich target for your lawyer. Did they try to bullshit you with an unsigned form? (It happens!) Did they write down the wrong date? The affidavits the police gave to the magistrate become similar targets. Does their paperwork contradict their testimony? Did they try to pass off your assertion of rights as probable cause? Evidence could get thrown out or charges dropped entirely.

Quote:
You can't pretend that the law is some blind and totally logical system where inherently suspicious actions are not treated as such simply because they are legal. Innocent until proven guilty is a great principle, but unfortunately it doesn't always hold up in practice.


Absolutely; as I've already said, it's the job of police to treat literally everyone as a potential suspect. "Innocent until proven guilty" is how the *courts* are claimed to operate, but it's completely incompatible with *policing*. This is why it's important to take advantage of the protections given to suspects, even if you haven't actually done anything wrong and don't believe that you are breaking any law.

Quote:
See Tdep's story for an example of how cooperating with the police can work out just fine: It finally happened, the police showed up


I'm glad that Tdep's encounter went well; ultimately, it's up to individuals to exercise their best judgement about the situation they're faced with, and if they make it out in one piece, they made the right calls. However, I would be surprised if you can find many lawyers who agrees that speaking freely with police and consenting to an unwarranted search is a good policy, ESPECIALLY if the FBI or some other federal three-letter-acronym is involved.





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alive&kickin
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[*] posted on 9-11-2016 at 08:58


second visit today, same questions, still no warrant but not sounding good
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[*] posted on 9-11-2016 at 21:18


At this point you should ask just what is their concern and how can you alleviate it.

Stone walling gives them far more reason to be interested then some basic interaction, they obviously have some reason they're interested, find out what it is, then mitigate it by showing them it is unfounded.

As others said if it gets to the point they get a warrant they now have all the control, at this point you have it though, so use that control and ask point blank "What is the concern that is causing you to come here, and how can I disband it?"
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[*] posted on 11-11-2016 at 09:49


Quote: Originally posted by alive&kickin  


Just got a visit from the FBI and local sheriff. They didn't have a warrant so they didn't get inside, but a thousand questions. Kind of embarrassing having their .........


What are the questions? (If I may)

[Edited on 11-11-2016 by yobbo II]
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[*] posted on 1-12-2016 at 16:50


Just got a second visit, same FBI agent as the first time but a different sheriff. Same questions as first time over and over just worded differently. They never came right out and said that they wanted in, but it was more than obvious. They were waiting for me to offer an invitation to come in.

Sorry, I hope I don't offend anybody, but those that say they would let them in and show them everything, I've got to chuckle at the naivety. All it takes is for them to see anything that might not be in 100% compliance with any regulation and it's nothing but trouble. I'm not going to invite trouble in. Just a quick example, If you have black powder for a gun but it's not in an explosion proof safe, is it ok or against some regulation somewhere?

I really don't want to have everything seized because someone doesn't know what they're looking at. All chemicals and glassware taken when they are ignorant of the items and summon the hazmat team that isn't any smarter. There go the guns, ammunition, and computer because once inside they will grab all they can. Here come the handcuffs and getting a lawyer is damn expensive.

And when all is said and done, if they can't find some trumped up charge or say he had these chemicals or glassware that could be used to make drugs or explosives, prison is not a happy thought. And if one is lucky and exonerated, good luck trying to get anything back.

How many here have chemicals that can be made into something dangerous or illegal? Glassware is one sure sign you must be a meth maker. We all know that no matter what you have, something else could be made with it. Even if one is completely innocent, I think the rule now is guilty until you prove your innocence. Sorry for the rant, but trouble because I enjoy my hobby that too many do not understand, scares the hell out of me.

yobbo ll, questions about the element collection and other chemicals:
Q: What kind of elements do you have in your collection?
Me: Just basic stuff that you can find anywhere.
Q: Like what for example?
Me: Tin, copper, lead, sulfur. That kind of stuff.
Q: Where did you get the tin and where do you keep it?
Me: At the bait shop, it's sinkers for fishing and I keep it with all my other ones in the closet.
Q: What do you plan on doing with it?
Me: Nothing really.
Q: Why do you have it and where do you keep it?
Me: Just part of my collection and I keep it in the closet.
Q: Where did you get the copper and where do you keep it?
Me: (thinking, oh god, I'm talking to morons). I got it from scrap wire.
And on and on and on. Answered all the questions and was polite, even though I felt like cussing the idiots they sent that had no idea what they were talking about or listening to.

God I feel trouble coming on. Sorry to bother everyone with my troubles, but just a warning to all to be careful.


[Edited on 2-12-2016 by alive&kickin]
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[*] posted on 1-12-2016 at 20:15


Well that sounds less than fun, sorry to hear it. I'd like to think one could explain things as common and obvious. But when people automatically think your some scumbag lieing through your teeth to save your own worthless hide, they are only listening to your words to find inconsistencies and signs of an easily unraveled story. They arent actually giving any consideration to your logic. Some inquisitors aren't like that, and are reasonable.

I ability to X doesn't mean intention to X, but being exhonerated of intention to X, when you clearly have all the fixins to X = you robbed them. Unless they are the reasonable variety of enforcement, and they just look at you like some missguided loony. Lets face it, some people, lots of people, don't understand our hobby. It doesnt register as an acceptable way to spend time or resources. It is almost way more acceptable if you are just a youtube coppycat, that could possibly be steered away from this phase. Alien for some one to actually intend to continue on.

Personally i find it soooo very boring to hear about half the crap other people do with their spare time. I like learning more, its actually somewhat comforting to know you at least understand the basic principles of things going on around you instead of being in the dark about it all.

Hopefully they actually bring some one knowledgable next time, or that the one that came twice is just playing dull. I could see how it might inspire hope if you know the guy was aware of the validity of your statements. It could be in their favor to keep you on edge wondering if your speaking to deff ears.

Regardless, good luck. I'd say don't sweat it, no reason to wreck your day when some one else intends to.
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[*] posted on 18-12-2016 at 20:35


I just found out this morning that my next-door neighbor was arrested last night for "having a lab." I really had no idea that he had a lab, and I never even heard what kind of lab it was... seems so unfair.



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[*] posted on 19-12-2016 at 01:33


If you are in USA, you might want to watch this if you have not yet.

https://youtu.be/i8z7NC5sgik

I regret that this is what our country has come to, but this lawyer knows what he is talking about.




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[*] posted on 19-12-2016 at 02:59


Yep. In the U.S., there's really no obligation to talk to the cops without an attorney present, and there's no reason to consent to a warrantless search.

I wouldn't know anything about my neighbor's situation if I hadn't overheard a couple members of his property management discussing it.




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[*] posted on 19-12-2016 at 09:08


Well in the states and even here in Canada the term lab = meth, sad and pathetic, we need to start correcting them to a cooking kit, or meth bakery some thing more accurate, but they call it a lab cause you know, scary chemicals and all, yet they will be popping a half dozen pills and guzzling down their artificially flavored drinks.
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