If some how you end up by your vehicle when being questioned, do not open your glove box or trunk, unless they have a search warrant.
Refusing to do so does not automatically make the officer angry, they often ask , because most people do not know that they do not have to open them without a warrant, and will simply do so.
I still have my dog tags, don't you?
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
The general rule is not public or private property, but whether you have a right to be where you are. It's a part of trespass law. If you are where you have a legal right to be, you can take a photograph of whatever you can see.
This is for editorial, not commercial use - commercial use being advertising. That raises other concerns.
17 US Code is the copyright act and it provides that finished buildings are not copyrightable, so you can take photos of finished buildings, despite what some security guard may tell you. I keep a copy of that section in my camera bag. I would infer that the sections means that unfinished buildings are subject to copyright and may be protected.
Then there is the emotional level of the police. Last year I was threatened with arrest after a car ran off the road, ran across my front yard, and slammed into a neighbor's car. After the police finished looking over the scene and had gathered around their cars to smoke, I got out my camera and started taking pictures for my insurance company and my neighbor's insurance company. I was in my yard taking photos of damage done to my yards. The cops had a fit. They tried to order me off my own property, to which I responded "It's my yard." They sputtered and fumed, and while they did, I walked inside. Then I photographed them goofing off from inside my house.
When dealing with cops, remember they have the guns.
Yup, about as useless as arguing with an overweight lawyer. Attitude, pure attitude... and a very frustrating and unproductive discsussion.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
In general not yet they haven't, thank God...
Originally Posted by juan
Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...
Well, at least in the U.S., property owners have the right to make rules for the use of their real property. With respect, it isn't a matter of trespass. In simplified form, trespass is entry onto real property without right or invitation. But even if you are invited onto someone's property, you do so under license of the owner, who sets the rules for such use. For example, we've all been in places that announce that "bathrooms are for customers only." Likewise, private property owners have the right to bar photographs on their premises. (So in fact do public property owners. Think of the U.S. Army, or the Supreme Court.) This may seem unfair to you as a photographer, but if you look at it from the perspective of the property owner, you can perhaps sympathize a little. For example, imagine you run a museum with art that is damaged by flash pictures. -Laura
Originally Posted by juan
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Great so far...US folks. I liked the one about "short officers".
Now, Lesson 2 - Avoid Admission:
Let's move away from a photography situation for a bit and instead put ourselves in our automobiles.
You're driving down the road and suddenly see those dreaded "flashing lights" behind you. You glance at the speedometer and realize that perhaps, well just maybe, you are a "bit" over the speed limit.
You pull over and wait for the officer to approach you - now beginning to feel that damned "pit" in your gizzard while conjuring up "excuses" in your head etc. Perhaps you have presence of mind to already have opened the glove box and taken out the registration and are also pulling out your wallet to get out your license....
And now the traffic cop comes up to the window and says: "Do you know why I stopped you?"
You have to respond - it's a direct question. So what do you say?
"No officer, I don't."
He says: "Do you know you were going X+Y in a X speed zone?"
You say: "No, I was only doing the speed limit (i.e. X)."
And keep at it and at it and at it.
Never "admit" that "Well, yes, maybe I was going "with traffic" and it's a bit above the posted limit" - or "Well, officer, perhaps I was doing a bit over the limit - but only a few miles per hour." or something similar.
NEVER "ADMIT" TO BREAKING A LAW to any law enforcement officer. That doesn't mean you resist giving them the information to write you a citation much less resist being arrested etc.
Just NEVER "ADMIT". It's the classic situation when dealing with any law enforcement person (cop, DA, judge, etc.): "Anything you say can, and will, be used against you."
1) Silence is Golden - it is always better to say nothing than the say anything but,
2) If you must say something - say "I did not do it."
The legal system is based on a presumption of innocence. They have to "prove" you did it. But if you "admit" you did something - that admission can be used against you and, ordinarily, once proffered, an admission cannot be "taken back".
Originally Posted by copake_ham
Let's stay on topic.
breath mints, onions, gargling mouthwash ..
none of these things will get you off the hook
they de-bunked it all on mythbusters last week
This is an EXCELLENT series of videos explaining common mistakes people make with L.E. (law enforcement) officers. Granted - it's mostly oriented to dumb college kids... but it seems pretty sound. There are three sketches - the middle one, I think, is most appropriate to our situation as photogs on the street...! Remember - police are under a LOT of pressure at times to issue tickets - and aren't the most honest people on the planet...! Be careful out there!
Gotta tell you, this was well thought out and worded and begs local research. I have never been so affronted but I think it shouldn't hurt in the least to do a little research. Thanks.