Two young me were stopped by Tustin Police for riding their bikes without propper lighting at 2:00 a.m. The police searched the men’s napsacks where they found items that had been stolen from unlocked cars in Tustin Ranch. After finding the items in the mens’ backpacks, they confessed to stealing the items. The men were arrested for burglary, receiving stolen property, vehicle tampering and petty theft.
It is most likely that the two men gave the officers consent to search their backpacks. Most people don’t realize that unless the police have a search warrant they may not search you, your car, your purse, your house, your phone or any items under your control. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Consent is one exception to the search warrant requirement. However, most people feel intimidated by police officers and will consent to a search because they think they have no choice. You have a choice. In this case, if the boys had not given the police consent to search their napsacks, they would not have been arrested for these crimes. They were not being detained for suspicion of committing car burglaries. They were stopped for riding their bikes without lights. An officer cannot detain someone for longer than necessary without a specific suspicion that a crime has been committed.
These men now face several misdemeanor, criminal charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to have some of the charges dismissed by the district attorney’s office and if the men have no prior criminal history they will most likely be sentenced to community service for their crimes.