Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Trinidad and Tobago police search powers

Q: What are the laws on car searches without a warrant?


A: The police can stop and search any person, vehicle, and anything in or on the vehicle for certain items, but they must have reasonable grounds (e.g., smell of marijuana or suspicious behaviour by occupants) for suspecting that they will find evidence (weapons, drugs, stolen property, masks, gloves, etc.). Outside of this, a warrant is required under Section 41 of the Summary Courts Act 1918, as amended.

However, if a crime has occurred and the police have been given permission to set up a road block, they can stop and search you without having reasonable grounds for suspecting they will find the aforementioned items.

The police can become trespassers if they do not act within the law because without their legal powers, they are considered regular citizens. This has been established since Entick v Carrington [1765], where Lord Camden CJ said: Our law holds the property of every man so sacred, that no man can set his foot upon his neighbour’s [property] without his [permission]; if he does, he is a trespasser, though he does no damage at all; if he will tread upon his neighbour’s ground, he must justify it by law…

This case has set a precedent all over the world, even being the reason behind the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

28 comments:

  1. how do i ask a question here i dont know how
    but if there is any one who can answer my question here it is
    do police have the power to do anything to student for haveing there shirt outside there pants
    AnSwEr pLEaSe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not unless wearing or even how to properly wear a school uniform was enshrined in law somewhere... which I don't think is the case.

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  2. Who has the authority to stop my car? Is it only licensing officers and fully clothed police officers, or do plain clothed police officers have this authority as well?

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    Replies
    1. A plain-clothes officer has the same powers as one in uniform, but they must properly identify themselves with the T.T.P.S. identification card.

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  3. Is it legal for an officer during a stop-and-seach, to ask for identification? Also how do I legally protect myself during a road side interview(I live near and have to pass through a "drug block"),since I wouldn't have access to legal counsel?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you have to identify yourself. You answer what questions you feel are necessary.

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    2. Can you please quote the act and chapter which states such? I really am interested in getting the correct info. Thanks

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  4. What are my rights if a officer demands identification without proper reason ?

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  5. Recently the TTPS have been filling out forms after stop and searches...with questions like name, age, address, marital status, children, occupation, height and tattoos(location if any). I would like to know is it maditory I comply with these questions and if not how to decline their request for unecessary information eg. Occupation, number of children and tattoos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your name, address, and age (if you’re a minor) are the only information you should disclose in a stop. Anything else is illegal unless you're being detained for a crime.

      If they refuse to let you leave, they would be engaging in unlawful detention and you should ensure that you have witnesses or record the situation.

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  6. if the police stop and search my car claiming that i have some thing illegal in my car and they dont have a search warrant either and after searching they find nothing which laws under the constitution have they broken ,A what can i seek redress in the high court of trinidad and tobago 4 , and can i sue the officers who search my property and also the state in two law suits thank u and waiting on ur reply

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  7. what was legal about what they did explain because under the constitution if it is not a state of emergency is there not laws in place dealing with illegal stop and searches ie freedom of movement and if they search my property which is my car they must have have probable cause

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    Replies
    1. " claiming that i have some thing illegal in my car" = probable cause

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    2. that isn't probable cause they need evidence to prove their suspicion ttps officers seems to only speculate

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  8. your car is also your property Entick vs carrington case law

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  9. on what grounds can the anti-drug and narcotics police on the airport can demand a civilian to do a drug test on the airport ?

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    Replies
    1. Well, I wasn't even aware that drug testing was done at the airport. Nevertheless, I can't see that request being lawful or valid.

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  10. If a police officer pulls you over and they are in uniform but do not identify themselves is that illegal and also if they search your vehicle in a random stop and search can what law prevents them from searching the vehicle without an issued warrant?

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  11. Is it legal for police officers to have tattoos which is exposed in line of duty and in uniform.? Because I had encounter a situation with one

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  12. What are my rights if I am being held for questioning?

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  13. If my vehicle was stolen.the police found it how long could the police keep it.i am not pressing any charges...and they still keeping it

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  14. if arms and ammunitions are found on sumones property are these to be handled by the officers without the use of gloves? isnt it routine they(the officers) use gloves to eliminate their prints???

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    Replies
    1. That would make sense to people who have an ounce of intelligence... not our police officers.

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  15. If a road block is taking place and the police is searching my car and my peruse is the car can they go into my peruse without permission

    ReplyDelete

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