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IPR’s Owner, Warren Redlich, Arrested

Found here

 

Officer Diaz of Coral Gables PD places handcuffs on Warren Redlich, founder of West Boca News and Fair DUI; image from YouTube video by Carlos Miller, founder of PINAC.

Yes, I was arrested last week in Coral Gables. A few hours later I was “unarrested.” The video of my arrest is near the bottom of this article, but first there’s a back story. Scroll way down if you just want to see the arrest.

As many of our readers know, I am a personal injury and criminal lawyer. I’m also a civil rights activist. Earlier this year I received national attention for my approach to handling checkpoints and traffic stops.

I had published a book in 2013 called Fair DUI.

fairdui-cover

The book has sold fairly well on Amazon and has excellent reviews.

fairdui-reviews

After writing the book people asked a lot of questions about how to handle encounters with police in traffic stops. One of the big questions was how to remain silent. It sounds simple, but it’s not so easy to do. In response to that I came up with the Fair DUI Flyer.

The Fair DUI Flyer

Some of my activist friends started using them in checkpoints. I did one myself in Miami last year and it went well. This video has been viewed over 100,000 times.

The story got bigger when my activist friends used it in a checkpoint on New Year’s Eve west of Gainesville. This video has now been viewed over 3.2 million times on YouTube alone.

It blew up, leading to national news coverage starting with TheBlaze.com eventually leading to Fox News, CBS News, The Washington Post, etc.

I even became the #1 trending story on Facebook:

trending800

In the heat of the moment we received some threats of arrest by local sheriffs but their comments were vague and often just plain stupid. Some said drivers have to talk to police, rejecting the right to remain silent. After the publicity died down we learned that police departments and prosecutors were discussing how to respond, and this led to my arrest in Coral Gables.

 

 

One key feature of my approach is that you do not roll down your window. Florida law requires you to “exhibit” (or show) your license to police. It does not require you to hand it over. I recommend people keep the window closed and press the license up against the window. Some prosecutors and police legal advisors decided to fudge that law (§322.15 of the Florida Statutes) and claim that you are required to hand it over. The Coral Gables legal advisor, attorney Israel Reyes, went further and recommended that anyone who refuses to physically hand over their license be arrested for a misdemeanor – resisting without violence. The City Attorney adopted this recommendation and it became formal policy. That document is below.

Download (PDF, 9.26MB)

Mr. Reyes and his friends missed a key point from law school. We are trained to read the whole statute. Subsection 4 of 322.15 says that a violation of it “is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation.” You can’t arrest someone for that. You can’t charge someone for a misdemeanor (a crime) when the legislature defines it as noncriminal.

I talked about this in a video I made about 322.15:

So, as an activist, when I heard that Coral Gables was doing a checkpoint, I had to go and test them to see if the police officers would follow this unlawful order from their bosses. You can see my arrest in the video below:

While I’d like to think of myself as the hero of this story, the real hero is Sergeant Alejandro Escobar. He followed orders when he arrested me. About three hours later he “unarrested” me and gave me a ticket:

ticket

In a good story the hero learns from experience and grows. I don’t know what happened for sure but I think Sgt. Escobar figured out something was going on and made an effort to understand what I was doing and why. In the end he went against his department’s policy, against his orders, and only issued me a ticket.

Coming soon I will be suing Coral Gables in federal court over this incident. This is not about money. While there will be monetary claims they are small. No one was shot. I did suffer nerve damage to my thumb from the handcuffs but it is minor and has nearly healed already. The goal is to get a federal judge to make sure that police follow the law, including 322.15 as well as Supreme Court cases on checkpoints.

Those who are considering using the Fair DUI Flyer should be aware that I went further in this incident than I recommend for others. Most people should obey orders from police even if they are unlawful orders.

About Post Author

Jill Pyeatt

Jill Pyeatt is a small-business owner and jewelry designer from Southern California. She currently serves on the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of CA. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

24 Comments

  1. Joseph Buchman Joseph Buchman October 3, 2015

    Their “job” was apparently NOT to have arrested Warren (they let him go after handcuffs and apparently illegal detention). So exactly what “job” do you want them to do?

    Not wasting their time, and tax dollars, doing things that are NOT their job might be a good place to start.

    That said, this Rick, seems an obvious Roger Stone alias.

  2. Rick Rick October 3, 2015

    Warren, Please stop wasting tax payers money and let the police do their job. Your advice is not sound and very irresponsible for an attorney. On another note La Bamba’s Restaurant is a very Clean and well run establishment. You should really think before you write. you seem to be forming a pattern of disseminating bad information. Maybe someone should look at your practice and see what your win loss average is.

  3. paulie paulie September 8, 2015

    I hope this will lead to more of these gestapo state checkpoints being ruled unconstitutional (all of them would be even better!)…

  4. Anthony A. Rosania Anthony A. Rosania September 1, 2015

    Thank you for this article. I am truly sorry that you were arrested, and I applaud your activism. We both know that States’ Bars do not look kindly on first-party attorney advocacy; I do so recognize the courage this test took.

  5. James Michael James Michael August 31, 2015

    A license is permission to do something unlawful….Stopped representing Floridas fraudulent doppelganger contrived “person” 9 years ago ….. Have not had a license nor any of their crap slave stuff on my car since.
    You do know the difference between an aggravated kidnapping and an arrest….
    The officer had ZERO cause of action with standing against you and committed several felonies in taking you using violence without ANY lawful authority….
    Trezevant V Tampa is a very good case for that matter false arrest is worth 1085$ a minute…Florida is a treasonous state and the courts like most across the country are nothing more than treasonous extortion kidnapping and armed robbery rackets…..
    That is a fact….
    You are part of the BAR and part of the head of the snake of treason on America but I do appreciate that you are trying to help…BUT you cannot fix treason and deception that has gone on for decades…..We need to cut it out like cancer because that is exactly what it is….

  6. wredlich wredlich August 31, 2015

    “I’m not convinced the Fourth Amendment argument holds water in the specific situation of a demand for surrender of driver’s license. At least in most states, a driver’s license, like a license plate, is considered state property and must be surrendered to the state upon demand—for example, when it’s revoked for an infraction.”

    There are states that require “surrender” of the license in this situation. Florida is not one of those states. There are also statutes that require surrender in other situations (like when your license has been suspended or revoked), but that is not this situation.

    I don’t agree that a license is considered state property – I’ve never even heard that argument. There are many court decisions holding that a driver’s license, once obtained, is a vested property right of the driver.

    Another popular and misguided argument is that a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. Once you have it, you have a vested property right in it and it can’t be taken away without due process.

    http://law.justia.com/cases/california/supreme-court/3d/33/392.html

    Mark – Thanks on the cover art comment. I took that photo. My wife is the “hand model”. And my wife’s sister did a great job with the text and other design of it to get it ready for both paperback and Kindle.

  7. wredlich wredlich August 31, 2015

    “Both you and Sergeant Alejandro Escobar are heroes in my book, Warren! Do you know whether he’s faced any retaliation from his superiors, by the way?”

    I doubt it. He’s been in that department for 20+ years and he’s a big player there. But it’s possible.

    “Did he actually say, “I’m unarresting you”, or how did that transpire exactly?”

    Yes. He said that he decided to only issue me the ticket, so he was unarresting me. He did use that word. He also said that the higher-ups or the county prosecutor might file a higher charge. But I haven’t seen that filed yet.

  8. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn August 31, 2015

    >VTL 507(2): “Failure to exhibit license. Failure by a licensee to exhibit a license valid for operation under this chapter to any magistrate, motor vehicle license examiner, motor vehicle investigator, peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer shall be presumptive evidence that he is not duly licensed. ”

    >“Exhibit” means show, not hand over. Some states use the word “surrender.”

    Thanks Warren.Consistent with what I thought, but I never practiced crim law here in the Evil Empire like you did.

    Rourke raises some interesting points in comment above. How would you respond to the “property of the government” argument?

    BTW, I love the cover art for your book.

    Very well done indeed.

  9. Rourke Decker Rourke Decker August 31, 2015

    With all due respect to your courage and understanding of the law, I’m not convinced the Fourth Amendment argument holds water in the specific situation of a demand for surrender of driver’s license. At least in most states, a driver’s license, like a license plate, is considered state property and must be surrendered to the state upon demand—for example, when it’s revoked for an infraction. While a private citizen obviously has the “right . . . to be secure” in his “papers, and effects,” the state has no such protection.

    This raises some fascinating questions. Does a driver’s license count as a “paper” or “effect” belonging to the citizen for the purposes of Fourth Amendment protection? In other words, does Fourth Amendment protection extend to state property while it is in the possession of a private citizen? (I wouldn’t think so; after all, a government-issued laptop or cell phone is subject to search at any time, so why would it be any different for a license?) And is a peace officer a proper mechanism or avenue for transmittal of the surrendered license back to the state in the case of, say, a traffic stop? These are fascinating questions, and I don’t know if there is any established cased law to settle them.

  10. Starchild Starchild August 31, 2015

    Excellent, way to go Warren! Standing up and asserting your rights contrary to the demands of police following bad orders, and resisting arrest or worse, takes real courage. And obviously the publicity garnered for the cause can be outstanding!

    How many times has the Libertarian Party been the #1 trending story on Facebook, or had a video clip get over 100,000 views, let alone over 1,000,000?

    “Laws of the Public Policy Process Water vs Libertarian Greaseballs” writes (August 31, 2015 at 12:10 am), “It’s common for Libertarian political petitioners to be arrested and then ‘unarrested’ in similar manner. Often, they are detained or otherwise unlawfully arrested and then set free to ‘teach them a lesson.’ Since the LP has its head waaaaaaaay up its ass, the LP never defends any such wrongfully-arrested people, nor does it sue for violation of its right to petition.”

    Is this true? Party leaders not doing anything to help their own petitioners in such situations, if brought to their attention, is indeed shameful. While they don’t have the resources to file a lawsuit every time someone is hassled or arrested in front of a post office, they certainly can and should speak out about it. Put out alerts to generate phone calls and emails to the offending authorities, write official letters of support, etc.

    I think there are some in the national office who would support such a stance, but I don’t know whether they are a majority. Pointed questions should be put directly to LNC members to find out where they stand on this, so that those who are unwilling to stand with our brave dissidents risking their necks on the front lines of the peaceful resistance against tyranny get voted out. And for the Libertarian Party’s own sake, as well as for doing the right thing, they should also be spreading the word about this incredible publicity that Warren, who was after all an LP gubernatorial candidate, has received, via party organs like LP News and LP.org.

    Both you and Sergeant Alejandro Escobar are heroes in my book, Warren! Do you know whether he’s faced any retaliation from his superiors, by the way? If so, the libertarian community should try to support him too. Did he actually say, “I’m unarresting you”, or how did that transpire exactly?

  11. wredlich wredlich August 31, 2015

    Thanks all for your kind words.

    That pathetic Arizona editorial is here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2015/06/11/keep-those-stupid-dui-signs-in-florida/71095966/

    My friends at PINAC responded here: http://photographyisnotacrime.com/opinion/2015/06/14/arizona-residents-should-assert-their-civil-rights-ignore-their-newspaper/

    If you’re not following PINAC, you should. It’s a great group. Not overtly political but the members seem to be generally third-party sympathizers. The leaders strike me more as Green but a lot of those involved come off as more libertarian.

    BTW the license plate on the car I drove through the checkpoint: “PINAC” – Photography is Not a Crime.

    These guys are real heroes fighting for our rights. Founder Carlos Miller was attacked for taking pictures in a Metrorail station.

    http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/01/i-was-attacked-by-miami-dade-metrorail-security-guards-for-taking-photos-and-shooting-video/

  12. Andy Andy August 31, 2015

    Oh geez, Warren has been arrested. I suppose that this means that he’s a bad guy.

    Just joking.

    I have also been arrested (falsely) for exercising my unalienable rights, so I know what it is like. I’m glad to see that Warren is putting his rear end on the line fighting the corrupt system.

  13. Bondurant Bondurant August 31, 2015

    I was researching Redlich’s Fair DUI stuff and saw that it caused a bit of a shit storm a few months ago here in Arizona (but I missed the hoopla) the Phoenix PD and the “editorial board” of the Arizona Republic threw hissy fits over it. Good work, Mr. Redlich.

  14. It’s common for Libertarian political petitioners to be arrested and then “unarrested” in similar manner. Often, they are detained or otherwise unlawfully arrested and then set free to “teach them a lesson.” Since the LP has its head waaaaaaaay up its ass, the LP never defends any such wrongfully-arrested people, nor does it sue for violation of its right to petition. After all, it needs to maintain Daryl Bonner’s high standard of living.

    I’m glad to see Redlich behaving in a libertarian manner. That’s very thoughtful of him. It makes me despise the LP leadership slightly less.

  15. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer August 30, 2015

    That picture is great. The article is pretty nifty. The video is fan-tas-tic! The related videos are just frosting on the organic carrot cake.

  16. Andy Craig Andy Craig August 30, 2015

    Bravo.

  17. Richard Winger Richard Winger August 30, 2015

    Warren’s a hero and even though you aren’t doing it for publicity, after it is all over you will be in a good position to run again for public office, in my opinion. It’s odd that you and Adrian Wyllie both are crusaders in automobile-related areas of law.

  18. jim jim August 30, 2015

    You said, “Other statutes use the word produce (for insurance and registration). To me that’s not clear enough. They didn’t choose to use the word surrender and I can’t imagine why they’d need to hold it in their hand. My view is that even if the state statute calls for surrender, the 4th Amendment trumps that. What’s the police argument that they need it so bad they can override the 4th?”

    I think a person who wanted to do this should have a photocopy of the license available to slip through his window, as well as showing the actual license through the window. Not that I think these laws (most of them; the ones that don’t say “surrender”) REQUIRE that; rather, I think the cop wants to be able to take a copy of the license back to his cop car and run the license check on his MDT (or whatever they are calling their computers these days). Why not make this as simple as possible for him?

  19. wredlich wredlich August 30, 2015

    I don’t think this will show up on my DMV record. It’s designated as a non-moving violation.

    Also I expect it will be dismissed.

    Getting “unarrested” is a bit of a legal unicorn. I’ve heard defense lawyers saying they can get a case dismissed but they can’t get you unarrested. I just did. 🙂

  20. wredlich wredlich August 30, 2015

    VTL 507(2): “Failure to exhibit license. Failure by a licensee to exhibit a license valid for operation under this chapter to any magistrate, motor vehicle license examiner, motor vehicle investigator, peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer shall be presumptive evidence that he is not duly licensed. ”

    “Exhibit” means show, not hand over. Some states use the word “surrender.”

    Other statutes use the word produce (for insurance and registration). To me that’s not clear enough. They didn’t choose to use the word surrender and I can’t imagine why they’d need to hold it in their hand.

    My view is that even if the state statute calls for surrender, the 4th Amendment trumps that. What’s the police argument that they need it so bad they can override the 4th?

    http://fairdui.org/states/n/new-york-dwi/

  21. Dave Terry Dave Terry August 30, 2015

    I’ve know a lot of people who have been “arrested”.
    You’re the FIRST one who has been “UNarrested”!

    Bravo !!

    Will it show up on your DMV record??

  22. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn August 30, 2015

    Well done.

    Warren, what’s the law in NY on handing over a driver’s license?

  23. jim jim August 30, 2015

    Sounds like a very worthwhile challenge to ‘authority’.

Comments are closed.