Aug 21 2012

Burning Man – Never Consent to Search of Vehicle

Burning Man Is Still Here!

Despite permit violations last year, Burning Man was approved by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for this year with some addition stipulations.  Not everyone is pleased that the BLM approved an increase in attendance for this year, but it is a joyous occasion for burners, new and old.

Be prepared before heading out to Black Rock City by knowing your rights and reading the most important piece of material for anyone considering attending this cultural event, the Burning Man Survival Guide.

Legal Authority at Burning Man

For many, Burning Man is viewed as an event where you are free to do just about anything, but this mindset is wrong as the Black Rock Desert is still subject to Nevada State Law and Federal Law with a large law enforcement presence.

The Black Rock Ranger volunteers are your best bet for assistance within Black Rock City.  Other agencies present at Burning Man are the Pershing Sheriff’s Office, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Highway Patrol, Nevada State Department of Investigations, Nevada State Health Division, and Federal Bureau of Land Management Rangers, all working together to make sure Black Rock City remains safe for all participants.  The officers wear different uniforms for easy identification, but there are undercover agents as well, so be mindful of your actions, like sharing alcohol and questionable substances. The use of illegal drugs is a federal and state crime, and a California medical marijuana card is not valid in Nevada.

Know Your Rights!

Remember, you still have constitutional rights in Black Rock City.  Treat officers with respect, give them your true name, but do not volunteer incriminating information or consent to being searched.  You are not required to provide ID unless you are detained, but producing identification may help diffuse a situation.  Make sure your refusal to have your possessions, vehicle, camp, and person searched is polite and clear. Once you consent to a search, anything an officer finds can be used against you because you gave them permission.  Your attitude towards officers greatly impacts your success at avoiding citations and being able to get them dismissed or reduced in court.  Sign any citation an officer writes without complaint, this is not an admittance of guilt and refusing can give an officer probable cause.

Posted in: Criminal Law Posted by: John B. Routsis

Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated. All fields are required, we will not publish your email address.