An Experiment: Part One
This viewpoint is from the United States frame of refence.
While I never intend to be pulled over by a policeman, I have been thinking of doing a thing should I happen to be pulled over by a cop.
First off, I need to mention the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution the relevant part is:
“…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…”
That wording is important. It mentions NOTHING about “self-incrimination“. The wording is much stronger than self-incrimination, it says that if you could be in a criminal court, you cannot be forced to give any information that could be used as a witness against yourself.
So, lets think about that a little bit….
If I am pulled over by a cop, we all know we are supposed to give the cop certain information. Specifically your drivers license and proof of insurance. We, as all good citizens, are supposed to know this and comply with that. Right? Right!
Well, I disagree.
Now, I don’t know why and how it could do any harm if I were to present these requested documents. But, are you sure? I am not sure, myself.
The cop is NEVER your friend. While this doesn’t automatically make the cop you enemy. But I know cops, and I know human nature, and I know that if you give up a right, you will NEVER get it back in that situation. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
I will ask the cop, first “if I give you my documentation, can you possibly use the information in these documents in a court of law?“.
If the cop is “honest” he should say “yes“.
Then I will assert that it is my constitutional right to not act as a witness against myself in a court of law, and thus, I cannot give you these documents as it would violate my inherent rights as a human being, and if I give up these rights I can never regain this right until our interaction is ended.
Now, I have no idea what the cop will do. I imagine that none of my readers have any idea what the cop would do either.
Now, while in many, if not all, states in the United States generally have some sort of statute that will somehow say that you have to give a cop these documents.
So, what will I do. God forbid! There is a contradiction between a pair of laws!!! One law says you have to do the thing, another law says that you don’t have to do the thing.
And what would one do in that sort of situation? Me, I would continue to assert my fifth amendment right and shut up, see what happens, and try really hard not to laugh as the cop imploded.
If I ever get pulled over, I will tell you what happened.
Additionally, I am not going to intentionally get myself pulled over, so ask!