Do you mind if I look?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 11 06:28:38 UTC 2010

Ah! If only we all had the minds of lawyers...

> The officer’s desire to hear a “yes” or “no” answer continued until
> appellant said “yes” or “I guess” to the last solicitation. Because
> that utterance allegedly evinced to Williams “clear and unequivocal”
> consent, he ordered appellant to exit the vehicle. The problem comes,
> however, in the nature of the question to which appellant said “yes”
> or “I guess.”
> The officer had not asked “may I search” but rather “would you mind if
> I look?” Answering “yes” to the latter meant that appellant did mind.
> Answering “I guess” also had and has like connotation; that is, saying
> “I guess” in response to being asked if one minds whether something
> happens can well indicate that he does.
> State v. Meekins, — S.W.3d –, 2009 WL 4876866 (Tex.App.-Amarillo 2009).

There is a bit more at the link--the officer asked a series of
questions, desperately trying to get the subject to consent to a search,
but only got a "yes" on the last one.


The American Dialect Society -

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