Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Washington

I was in a boat with a friend fishing when two fish and wildlife officers drove up, told us to pull in our gear and submit it for inspection. Our hooks were barbed (forgot to crimp them) resulting in $91 tickets for both of us. I have two question:

1) what gives them the right to sieze us when they have not observed any violation in progress? It seems as though it would be a clear violation of Terry v Ohio?

2) we brought our gear in the boat after they told us to. They then demanded (after checking our licenses) to see our fishing gear and we had to retrieve it out of the boat. Isn't this an illegal search of my boat? The police cannot search a car without a warrant, why can they search my boat?


Asked on 1/24/10, 10:52 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

James J. White, attorney Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC

You are probably correct on both issues. You'll need to review the police report to see if the officers claim to have some reason to suspect you were snagging.

At your service,

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Answered on 2/05/10, 9:18 am

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