Massachusetts Lawmaker Wants To Make It A Felony To Have Secret Compartments In Your Car

from the big-problems,-small-minds dept

A Massachusetts lawmaker is looking to give law enforcement another way to bust people and seize vehicles. Modify a vehicle you own in a certain way and you can expect to never see that vehicle again.

Blame it on the war on drugs and pressure from law enforcement lobbying. Stephan Hay, a Democrat state representative for Fitchburg, has introduced a bill that would criminalize operating a vehicle with a hidden compartment designed for the purpose of secretly transporting drugs and related contraband, equipment, currency, or weapons.

The bill, H.1266, separately criminalizes the process of altering a vehicle with the intent of creating such hidden compartments. In each case the bill calls for a two-year mandatory minimum sentence, five years for subsequent offenses. The bill also allows police to seize the modified vehicle.

Notably, the bill wouldn't limit "secret compartment" busts to those containing contraband. The presence of an aftermarket "concealed storage space" is enough to trigger an arrest and seizure. The state would have to prove there was intent to use the compartment to store contraband, but the wording in the bill [PDF] flips the burden of proof when it comes to the vehicle itself.

Proof that a conveyance contains a hidden compartment as defined in this section shall be prima facie evidence that the conveyance was used intended for use in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances.

As Reason's Scott Shackford points out, Massachusetts already has the worst forfeiture laws in the nation. This built-in presumption of guilt only makes this worse. Defendants will start out in the hole, asked to prove a negative simply to have a small shot at recovering their seized vehicle. Unknowingly purchase someone's drug-running vehicle? It's as good as gone if the police discover any secret compartments. Seeing as criminal charges would result in something more aligned with due process, it will come as zero surprise if the law is used to seize vehicles but leave prima facie "drug traffickers" otherwise unharmed.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 1:48pm

    I lose everything but my Harley

    My RV has a hidden floor safe for valuables; my car has a hidden gun safe (and hidden NOS, but that doesn't count).

    So does that make me a major criminal enterprise now?

    But on the "good news" front, there are going to be a LOT of vehicles for sale at the next police auction...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:20pm

      Re: I lose everything but my Harley

      But on the "good news" front, there are going to be a LOT of vehicles for sale at the next police auction...

      That sounds like a continuous cash stream. Seize the vehicle. Sell it off at the police auction (keeping careful records on who purchases the impounded vehicle). Then a couple of months later, pull over the purchaser for a minor infraction, "discover" the hidden compartment, and sieze the vehicle to start the cycle over again.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 3:57am

        Re: Re: I lose everything but my Harley

        Simple solution to that. If you purchase an impounded vehicle,
        register it out of state. If you own property in another state, use that address to register the vehicle, and also get a drivers license in that state, instead of Massachussets.

        This is why rich people will not be as affected. Just simply buy a home in another state, and use that address to register the vehicle, and then get a drivers license in that state

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:06am

          Re: Re: Re: I lose everything but my Harley

          But breaking Massachusetts law in Massachusetts will subject you to Massachusetts punishment regardless of where you reside, no?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I lose everything but my Harley

            Mass. Police wouldn't have an address, or license plate to BOLO for. Could still lose the car, but it'd be harder for 'em for find it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 8:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I lose everything but my Harley

              Except when you drive into Mass. and have to walk home. Like all forfeiture laws, this will be used to enable the police to seize things without bringing charges.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vidiot (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:43pm

      Re: I lose everything but my Harley

      For sale? Really? In the stories I've read, the chief gets to keep 'em, and drive 'em around town.

      But if they're auctioning cheap, cool cars, especially with secret hiding places, I'm down with that. Keep on seizin'!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:53pm

      Re: I lose everything but my Harley

      Sorry, you could lose the Harley too. Peter Fonda's character famously used the gas tank to hide cash in the movie Easy Rider.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:58am

      and hidden NOS, but that doesn't count

      The fact that you have NOS in there does not prove that you didn't create the compartment for contraband. Guilty.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:48pm

    Magnetic Key Hider

    Walmart: Magnetic Key Hider

    $4.99

    About this item

    Magnetic Key Hider Large enough for today's rubber-headed keys with 2 magnets for extra gripping power on automobiles, RVs or any steel surface.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:37pm

      Re: Magnetic Key Hider

      All a cop would have to do is slip one on a car and bingo! Cop gets car.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 4:09am

      Re: Magnetic Key Hider

      Where do you get this? I got kidnapped once, and got awauy, but I want to make sure I have an extra hidden key in my car if it ever happens again. It would be much better than hiding in my shoe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re: Magnetic Key Hider

        Where do you get this?

        If the Walmart link is simply too much for you, then let me google that for you.

        Looks like Home Depot has another brand listed for $2.58: “This item is available in stores.”

        Some reviewers recommend avoiding the cheaper ones, and getting a high quality one from an auto parts store. Advance AutoParts carries one from AutoCraft. It's listed at $3.99, so maybe it's much better quality.

        “Magnetic base firmly secures to metal surfaces. Designed to hold keys, money or other items.”

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 8:10am

      Re: Magnetic Key Hider

      That would be enough. You could after all hide some drugs in it!!! Your guilty!!! Now try to prove me wrong? How would you do that? Your word that you never used it for drugs? HAHAHAAHAHA So your car is now stolen by the police. If it's not paid off, you'll be paying the bill as the police use it for other things and finally sell it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re: Magnetic Key Hider

        That would be enough.

        Yes, indeed. From the Massachussetts bill

        (a) Definition: As used in this section, the term “hidden compartment” shall be defined as any after-market hidden or secret compartment that ... and has been installed in or attached to a conveyance...

        (Emphasis added.)

        Attached magnetically would be “attached”.

        Also from the bill, in (d) —

        Proof that a conveyance contains a hidden compartment as defined in this section shall be prima facie evidence...

        (Emphasis added again.)

        Testimony that a magnetic key hider was magnetically attached to a car could be supplemented with twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows showing exactly where the key hider was found magnetically attached to a car.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 9:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Magnetic Key Hider

          Sounds like some noble group could bulk purchase or produce a number of these magnetic holders and place them on every single government vehicle they come across. Citizens being up in arms over all cop cars having these yet not being seized will make all of the people who have their cars seized for key holders, angry enough to revolution

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:51pm

    <em>criminalize operating a vehicle with a hidden compartment designed for the purpose of secretly transporting drugs and related contraband, equipment, currency, or weapons</em>

    And how do they prove that this is the purpose it was designed for?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mononymous Tim (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:03pm

      Re:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:09pm

      'Possession of a kitchen knife is evidence that the accused intended to murder someone with it.'

      And how do they prove that this is the purpose it was designed for?

      That's the 'great' thing, they don't have to.

      'Proof that a conveyance contains a hidden compartment as defined in this section shall be prima facie evidence that the conveyance was used intended for use in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances.'

      The mere existence of the compartment is 'proof' that it was intended for concealing illegal activity/items, and it's up to the (former) owner to prove that it wasn't.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        z! (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:34pm

        Re: 'Possession of a kitchen knife is evidence that the accused intended to murder someone with it.'

        Or from the other side, if you found the compartment, it wasn't secret, was it?. A secret is only a secret if the other person doesn't know about it.

        Perhaps the gentleman from Massachusetts means hidden...but then pretty much all cars have spaces that would count as hidden.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          orbitalinsertion (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:29pm

          Re: Re: 'Possession of a kitchen knife is evidence that the accused intended to murder someone with it.'

          Yes, including a large side compartment on a station wagon that opens with the car's own keys, containing a spare tire. True story.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:34pm

        Re: 'Possession of a kitchen knife is evidence that the accused intended to murder someone with it.'

        Next they will claim that my icepick collection is evidence that i want to murder my boss.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:47pm

        Re: 'Possession of a kitchen knife is evidence that the accused intended to murder someone with it.'

        There's an easy awnser to this. Just put a sticker on the hidden compartment saying "not for transporting drugs or other contraband", voila problem solved.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 8:12am

      Re:

      That's whats do great about it. They don't have to prove it's used for drugs. You're already guilty. You have to prove it's NOT used for drugs. I'm not sure ho you can go about doing that, so you've just lost your car.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:53pm

    Also, what about cars that inadvertently already have "hidden compartments"?

    My wife's Lexus SUV allows you to remove the center plastic cupholder assembly (presumably for cleaning, and there's a large cavity underneath that she often hides stuff in that she doesn't want people to find with a cursory search of the glovebox.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:40pm

      Re:

      My wife's Lexus SUV...

      Soon to be some cop's wife's SUV?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vidiot (profile), 21 Jul 2017 @ 4:45am

      Re:

      Thanks for sharing! Please ask her to hide the new model iPad in there, preferably with a black leather case. And a pack of Twinkies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:10am

      Re:

      That is also good for hiding an extra cell phone for tracking purposes, not just for if, a cop seizes your vehicle, but also if a thief takes it, I can locate it and go get it myself.

      Someone once took my car on a joyride, and I was able to use Find My Android to go where they left it and get it back, no need to call police.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:53pm

    Aren't some 'compartments' made simply by ripping off interior paneling?

    So... LEO searches your car -> breaks off panel looking for nonexistant contraband -> your car now has a "secret compartment" -> you're now operating an illegal vehicle which is now seized as you're arrested.

    And of course cops will be considered exempt from "altering with intent to create" part.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:19pm

    My car has a compartment off the right side of the trunk for the battery, which you get to by pulling off part of the side. The cover blends in so well that the only obvious indication is the two depressions to grab and pull with.

    So according to Stephan Hay, the serious offense of automotive battery smuggling is a thing now ..and I'm guilty!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:50pm

      Re:

      The proposed law specifies an *aftermarket* concealed storage space. If it originally came with the car, it's OK.

      Of course if your DieselGate vehicle is repaired with urea-based selective catalytic reduction - and they hide the diesel exhaust fluid tank rather than have it take up your trunk - that's aftermarket concealed storage. Massachusetts will have access to a database of cars with this modification.

      Massachusetts Police gonna get themselves some Volkswagens!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        stderric (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Might as well extrapolate ridiculously, just to see where reality will be in 5 years:

        a) A driver must be in the car to operate it.
        b) A driver is definitely an 'aftermarket' item.
        c) A driver can swallow condoms/balloons full of, say, heroin.
        d) The inside of the human body isn't visible with the naked eye.
        e) Cops now own all the cars.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Cops now own all the cars.

          Only the ones they want. Play it safe, drive a beater.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            DarkKnight (profile), 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That would make my '96 Volvo 850 GLT Non Turbo on the cops "No Thanks" list. Thankfully, I'm nowhere near Massachusetts. Just one more State to go on the "Won't ever move/Live there" list....

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mononymous Tim (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:32pm

        Re: Re:

        With a law like that, I'm sure the onus would be on me to prove it's not aftermarket by being dragged through court, because "the officer can't possibly by familiar with every possible type of vehicle they come across".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, the onus will be on your car to prove to the court. You won't be involved in the lawsuit, so you won't have to do anything.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        So a Magnetic hidden key case stuck to your car would be a aftermarket hidden compartment. You could possibly hide some drugs in it. Now you've lost your car. How do you prove you don't hide drugs in it? I have no idea.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 2:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Simple solution there, don't get the dieselgate modification done, and you will haven no problem with that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ryunosuke (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      a dodge caravan has that "secret" jack stash in the back to put your jack in. Does that count?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:31pm

    If only we could get them to remember that innocent until PROVEN guilty & evidence thing.

    Instead they try to pass stupid laws for headlines because drugs & will just rake in the cash as the cars try to defend themselves without counsel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CanadianByChoice (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:44pm

    A Real Money Maker for the Police

    They can seize the vehicle, sell it at auction and (after collecting the payment), seize it AGAIN! They could sell the same vehicles dozens of times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Forrest G., 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:34pm

    War On Intelligent Thinking

    See subject header.

    There is no hope or help for this stupid machine called guvmint and crooks who benefit as the result of their ineptness, cruelty, stupidity.

    As the former AG under Bush said, "The Constitution is a quaint document."

    The F...... Bunch of Iiots, or FBI, now regards anyone who cites the Constitution to be terrorists, when they are not busy entrapping the mentally challenged.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PlagueSD (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:22pm

    Spare Tire compartment

    So, what about the spare tire compartment? Most cars no longer come with a spare tire, but the compartment is still there under the trunk. Is everyone a criminal now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:24pm

    Can I confisicate a car on the basis that I think it has secret compartments, but I can't find them? (Because they're secret.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:42pm

    just another drop in the "regulate all the things" bucket.

    If it's okay over here, its okay over there!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:56pm

    I knew it!

    Proof that a conveyance contains a hidden compartment as defined in this section shall be prima facie evidence that the conveyance was used intended for use in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances.

    Proof that many new cars are "intended for use in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances"!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cowardly Lion, 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:14pm

    Scope creep

    "...and has been installed in or attached to a conveyance..."

    Don't even think about hiding things up your ass...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 3:28am

    IF they seize your vehicle, you go steal it back. Go down to the impound yard, cut the lock the off the gate with a pair bolt-cutters, then get into your vehicle and take it out of there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DarkKnight (profile), 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:18am

      Re:

      Sure. And how will you defeat the cameras filming you do that? Good like actually trying this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 6:10am

        Re: Re:

        Simple, jam the cameras. Most cameras are wirless can be jammed. The cameras will just simply cease functioning as long as they are within range of the jammer. That will pravent them from getting any photo evdidence.

        Just jam the frequencies the cameras are using.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Raspberry jam?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You find out where the videotape machines are that are recording from the cameras, then you break in their and erase all the tapes with a degguasser, eliminating all video evidence.

          There would be a monitoring room, just break in there and destroy the video evidence against you that has been recorded.

          Then they will have no case against you without that evidence.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re:

        If they arrest you for that, you just make bail, then not show up in court. Go to the airport right away, and get on the plane leaving the country.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 22 Jul 2017 @ 12:04am

          In for a penny...

          And if they try to stop you from leaving via a plane after you stole you car back, were arrested for it, made bail and then skipped out on court just hijack the plane and fly to another country.

          And if they try to have the police in another country arrest you and extradite you back for hijacking a plane sneak on to a shuttle to the international space station where man's puny laws don't apply.

          And then when they try to get you there take the shuttle and fly to the moon and set up a base where you can definitely get away this time.

          /s, just in case it wasn't obvious enough.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 4:06am

    Your cupholder

    Theoretically, several Chevrolet models, from 2006 to around 2015 could be illegal.

    That is becuase the space beneath the cupholder could be used to hide stuff.

    I know this becuase when I had my 2005 Cobalt, I woudl keep all of my credit cards and most of my bank cards hidden there, when on trips, as well as my casino winnings in Nevada, when I hit a $200 jackpot on a poker machine, just in case I did get stopped, so no cop would ever find my cash.

    I also kept my cards hidden there when travelling to places where the ERAD might be used, so if any cop had stopped me and wanted to see my cards, I could show just the one credit card I had in my shirt pockets, and the any cop had asked if any had any more cards, I would have lied to him and said no I did not.

    Fortunately I did not have such an encounter, but I was well prepared.

    The space beneath the cupholder in those models is very handy, not just to hide stuff from cops, but also to foil any car burglars as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:21am

    Should we be shocked?

    This is already the law in a large number of states. In fact, there's a guy in prison, sentenced to decades of incarceration, because he made aftermarket hidden compartments. The feds threatened to jail him for conspiracy to traffic drugs, even though they knew he didn't traffic, if he didn't hand over his complete customer list. If he did, some of them might not appreciate it. SO instead, he kept quiet and a customer who cut a deal and lied sent him to jail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 21 Jul 2017 @ 12:29pm

    "criminalize operating a vehicle with a hidden compartment designed for the purpose of secretly transporting drugs and related contraband, equipment, currency, or weapons"

    So the locked pistol case under my seat is now criminal?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 12:49pm

    So secret compartments are illegal. Secret compartments are only secret if no one knows about it. If the police know about it, then it isn't a secret anymore. Now you just have a compartment. And currently having a compartment isn't illegal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 12:52pm

    Not that this would work, but...

    "Your honor, I had to install that secret compartment, knowing that MA has a rampant problem of illegal "civil asset" robberies, it was not safe for me to travel in MA without hiding my cash"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 1:51pm

    "Officer, I bought this car used, I did not know it had this compartment"....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      "Officer, I bought this car used, I did not know it had this compartment"....

      Wex [LII]: prima facie:

      Latin for "at first sight." Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning "sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted;" e.g., prima facie evidence. . . .

      dictionary.law.com: prima facie:

      (pry-mah fay-shah) adj. Latin for "at first look," or "on its face," referring to a lawsuit or criminal prosecution in which the evidence before trial is sufficient to prove the case unless there is substantial contradictory evidence presented at trial. . . .

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:08pm

    Cash

    So they steal your money if you leave it out in the open, and now they want to make it a crime to hide it from them so they can't steal it as easily.

    Nice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Flakbait (profile), 22 Jul 2017 @ 7:56am

    Not a new idea

    This has been on the books in Ohio for 5 years (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.241).

    link

    Here's the gist of it:

    (B) No person shall knowingly design, build, construct, or fabricate a vehicle with a hidden compartment, or modify or alter any portion of a vehicle in order to create or add a hidden compartment, with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance.

    (C) No person shall knowingly operate, possess, or use a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge that the hidden compartment is used or intended to be used to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance.

    (D) No person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of aggravated trafficking in drugs under section 2925.03 of the Revised Code that is a felony of the first or second degree shall operate, possess, or use a vehicle with a hidden compartment.

    (E) Whoever violates division (B) of this section is guilty of designing a vehicle with a hidden compartment used to transport a controlled substance. Except as otherwise provided in this division, designing a vehicle with a hidden compartment used to transport a controlled substance is a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B) of this section, designing a vehicle with a hidden compartment used to transport a controlled substance is a felony of the third degree.

    And yep, it's being used: link

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Com, 22 Jul 2017 @ 7:08pm

    Not a new idea, plus more

    Like Flakbait says, this is not a new idea... it's a crime in a number of states (I'm not taking the time to do a survey of them), you can add Georgia to that list O.C.G.A. 16-11-112 (felony as well).

    The original post misses the bigger issue, which is that presumptions in criminal law are [almost] always unconstitutional (someone less lazy can find the cite... Volokh Conspiracy has addressed this before).

    And as always, civil forfeiture laws are a form of theft.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.