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Mystic Blossom
07-09-2008, 04:16 AM
While I am grateful that I have never been arrested nor do I know anyone personally who has, it means I don't have accurate knowledge as to how this situation would arise, and I thought it best to seek out answers before I write the scene.

Here's what happens:

A character is picked up by the police for hitchhiking, and taken to the station. He calls his cousin, who comes to pick him up.

And these are the questions I have:

- Would he be under arrest for hitchhiking, since it's illegal, or just taken off the road?
- Would he or his cousin have to show ID in order for him to be released?
- Would either of them have to pay a fine, or could she just take him home?

Thanks for all your help, guys!

jclarkdawe
07-09-2008, 04:28 AM
While I am grateful that I have never been arrested nor do I know anyone personally who has, it means I don't have accurate knowledge as to how this situation would arise, and I thought it best to seek out answers before I write the scene.

Here's what happens:

A character is picked up by the police for hitchhiking, and taken to the station. He calls his cousin, who comes to pick him up.

And these are the questions I have:

- Would he be under arrest for hitchhiking, since it's illegal, or just taken off the road? Hitchhiking isn't illegal. In New Hampshire, it is only illegal on interstates, which is the practice in most states. Usually they just tell you to move. You might get busted for something else (like vagrancy), but you're going to have to work at it to tick off the cop or the cop is going to have to be in a very bad mood. Usually police just ignore hitchhikers. However, sometimes they will actually give hitchhikers a ride.

- Would he or his cousin have to show ID in order for him to be released? If the cop asks for ID. Often if a cop asks you to move, they won't even ask for ID. Once they ask for ID, you either need to come up with something or play 20 questions. Usually they'll want your name, address, social security number and date of birth. You should then pop out of their system.

- Would either of them have to pay a fine, or could she just take him home? If someone ended up down at the police station, probably would have to bail him out, but it depends.

Thanks for all your help, guys!

Hitchhiking isn't like it was when I was your age. Manchester, NH used to take you in and give you a hair cut. Completely illegal, but they didn't care. Now most police seem to pretty much ignore it.

Former hitchhiker and still willing to pick someone up.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Mystic Blossom
07-09-2008, 04:34 AM
I'm taking about vagrancy and interstate hitchhiking anyway :3 Thanks so much.

Soccer Mom
07-09-2008, 04:40 AM
Most cops wouldn't bother with a hitchhiker. It's just a fine and hardly worth the trouble. People with the money to pay fines aren't likely to be hitching.

And if his cousin can just come pick him up, why is the character hitching in the first place?

Mystic Blossom
07-09-2008, 05:57 AM
He's actually not hitching, but he gets picked up for it. It's a complicated scenario, so I stuck to the bare facts, or at least, what the police think is true. ^^;;

Rabe
07-09-2008, 07:22 AM
- Would he be under arrest for hitchhiking, since it's illegal, or just taken off the road?
- Would he or his cousin have to show ID in order for him to be released?
- Would either of them have to pay a fine, or could she just take him home?

Thanks for all your help, guys!

Again, the jurisdiction for this scenario would be helpful, as a lot of the answers you get are going to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and state to state.

In Nevada, it's not illegal to hitchhike unless in a place specifically prohibited from doing so. Along I-80, that means prison areas. I can think of three of those areas - outside Wells. Outside Carlin and then outside Lovelock. Then, it would most likely be the Highway Patrol that deals with you anyway and you won't be taken to a 'police station' but moved on somewhere else or cited and moved on somewhere else. If arrested, you'd go to jail. Period.

Because the Highway Patrol doesn't have their own holding facilities. Most places, outside of large metropolitan areas, don't have their own holding facilities but a county jail. Even then, in Nevada, you'll still have a county jail. In all but Las Vegas. But that's something of a misnomer as Las Vegas police are a metropolitan police department - which is basically a glorified sheriff's department.

How is the cousin getting the person out of jail? In most cases ID doesn't need to be shown if the cousin shows up with a bail bond. But if they're paying cash or the person is being released to the cousin on an OR then most likely would be asked for ID.

If the hitchhiker is arrested, he most likely would have a *bail* set. Unless given an OR by the judge or the sheriff of the county. (in Nevada, misdemeanors can be ORd by the sheriff of a county). A *fine* is money owed to the court AFTER a conviction.

In a response above, someone said that the cop probably wouldn't ask for ID when contacting someone just hitchhiking. I'm not sure where this would be true. Most of the time, you're talking to someone, you get the ID and run them for wants/warrants/cautions. You never know who you're dealing with, especially hitchhikers. But, all that's really required is a name and date of birth (and the S.C. has said that's all that's really required to be provided). SSN is asked for to narrow things down, but I don't know of *any* cop who is going to ask for an address when they're just doing a check on a person. The cop is also sussing the hitchhiker out for further scrutiny, asking questions about where they came from, what they're doing, why they're hitch-hiking. The likes of which will determine if they're going to make sure the hitchhiker is clear before they let them go on their merry way, or if they want to investigate further.

Rabe...

jclarkdawe
07-09-2008, 08:48 AM
In a response above, someone said that the cop probably wouldn't ask for ID when contacting someone just hitchhiking. I'm not sure where this would be true. Most of the time, you're talking to someone, you get the ID and run them for wants/warrants/cautions. You never know who you're dealing with, especially hitchhikers. But, all that's really required is a name and date of birth (and the S.C. has said that's all that's really required to be provided). SSN is asked for to narrow things down, but I don't know of *any* cop who is going to ask for an address when they're just doing a check on a person. The cop is also sussing the hitchhiker out for further scrutiny, asking questions about where they came from, what they're doing, why they're hitch-hiking. The likes of which will determine if they're going to make sure the hitchhiker is clear before they let them go on their merry way, or if they want to investigate further.

My impression from hitchhikers is the cop rolls up, puts down passenger window, says "Move." Hitchhiker says "Okay," and that's it. This is assuming the hitchhiker looks respectable.

I would assume that if the hitchhiker doesn't look respectable, the stop would be a lot more involved. I've only had a couple of hitchhikers tell me of stops more involved than above.

One of the most interesting was this guy who is a minister who travels the country, doing a hitchhiking ministry. He's hit the 48 states and Canada. Very knowledgeable as this is how he spends his entire life.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Fingers
07-09-2008, 09:38 AM
I hitchhiked from Portland Oregon to Ft. Lauderdale Florida in 1979. We got stopped on interstate 84 in Idaho by a Boise city cop for hitching under a freeway overpass. He checked our ID, did a cursory search of our persons and our back packs and told us to move up to the top of the freeway entrance ramp. If he had searched a little more or had a dog, Im sure at least one of us would have gone to jail. Never had a cop offer a ride during the trip. I think the only other place we had interaction with the police was in Virginia and Florida. Those two times they basically drove up, rolled down the window and told us to move off the freeway. Hope this helps.

yer pal Brian

Williebee
07-09-2008, 09:46 AM
Southern Illinois here (read RURAL). You hitchhike on the interstate here and a state trooper will pick you up and take you to the nearest exit exit ramp, usually the one with the two truck stops. He'll ask you if there is anyone you can call for help, and loan you the phone to do it.

A county cop will take you to the same place, or to the county line, whichever is closer.

Now, for the sake of your story, if your MC was to be misunderstood in something he/she said, and offended the cop, then yeah, they (changed here) might take him in. Also, in today's world, if his name came back as a possible alias of "John Smith the terrorist/murderer/robber" then they might just take him to the county jail until he could prove his identity.

And yes, both he and the person who picks him up would be asked for identification, and that ID would be run for possible wants/warrants.

hope this helps.

RJK
07-09-2008, 07:35 PM
As Jim and Williebee said, there must be other elements present before the cops will take the hitcher to the police station. If you need that to happen in your story, have your hitcher carry a little weed with him and the cop find it. Most places that will result in a fine and the cousin's bail would end up being the fine.

Priene
07-09-2008, 08:36 PM
I've hitched all over Europe and the only time officials paid me any attention at all was when I walked across the Netherlands-Germany border - perhaps they'd never seen anyone do that before. Maybe it's different in the USA, but I'd say your hitcher's only likely to get taken in if he's doing something exceptionally stupid and dangerous, like hitching on an outside bend of a motorway.

Kathie Freeman
07-09-2008, 09:02 PM
Back in the late '6o's I used to hitchhike a lot. This is in CA and it's only illegal if you are in the roadway or holding up traffic. On the shoulder is okay. In any case you wouldn't be arrested unless you got belligerent, just told to get out of the street. Check the laws of the jurisdiction you are using.

ajkjd01
07-09-2008, 09:19 PM
Just remember this....if the cop asks for ID or personal information...you generally have to do it. There are more and more laws on the books these days requiring people stopped by the police on suspicion of an arrestable offense to provide identifying information, and failing to do so is a crime by itself.

That could be your misunderstanding here. Let's say the cop stops your hitchhiker because of a tip he's gotten about another crime and your guy fits the description. He refuses to provide ID because he doesn't think he's done anything wrong...and gets arrested for failing to do so even though he's been cleared of the original crime.

Mystic Blossom
07-09-2008, 10:01 PM
I think that's the closest solution to the scenario, ajkjd. The character in question doesn't have ID and might even be mistaken for a minor, so I think the best thing would be for him to be picked up for his lack of ability and willingness to comply with the officer's requests.