Here’s Your Sign!

June 17, 2015

Those immortal words of comedian Bill Engvall could not hold truer than with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s this week.  Does anyone remember our Fourth Amendment?

In an effort to thwart car burglaries, Deputy Sheriffs are patrolling Pinellas County looking for unlocked vehicles.  When they discover a car with an unlocked door, they open it, lock it and leave behind a flyer letting the owner know to lock their vehicle.  How courteous of them – NOT! This is an extremely slippery slope…one that should not be allowed.

Let’s imagine that Mr. Sheriff is just doing his job and walking around the city looking for unlocked doors.  He finds one and opens it up.  While he is dropping the flyer on the seat he notices a bag of marijuana on the floor of the vehicle.  Hmmmm…..what happens next?  The “plain view doctrine” used in criminal cases allows an officer to seize something without a warrant as long as it did not require a search, or essentially, the object was in plain view.  I think the court would probably kick it out because the officer was not there investigating another crime when he found it, but why go through all the trouble?? Seeing the drugs, could the officer make a case to a judge for a warrant?  The possibilities are endless.

While some people may not be bothered by such an intrusion, giving the officers an opportunity to step over the line is a violation of our Fourth Amendment.

The Sheriff’s office claims the idea behind this is to mainly avoid guns being stolen from vehicles and subsequently used in crimes.  While it is irresponsible for a citizen lawfully carrying a gun in their vehicle to leave doors unlocked, it still does not make it ok to violate our privacy.

If you feel your rights have been violated let’s talk about it! Click here to contact our firm for a free consultation.


The Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates (LORE) has not been retained for this or any other matter by you until such time as a duly executed retainer is signed by you and an authorized agent of LORE and any retainer deposit paid and returned to us.  Nothing contained herein is intended to create an attorney client relationship or be considered legal advice, as such, no conflict of interest shall be presumed in the event LORE is later retained by an adverse party.  See Rule 4-1.18 et. al., 2006 Florida Supreme Court.

Our Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

Thank you for your help with this matter. Because of your relationships and wisdom, I have been given another chance to practice medicine again and learn from my mistakes. This has been a life changing experience leading to soul searching as to who I really am and what is important. It has been a spiritual awaking underlying the fact what is important is that I work with integrity, boundaries, wisdom, enjoy being a doctor and healer.

Thank you so much for everything! You guys were great!

“Rob just wanted to say thank you again for everything you’ve done, I feel better today than I have in two years.” January 17, 2017

“You guys are great! Never needed an attorney before, and hope not to in the future, but it’s great to know that there are excellent people like you watching my back!!”

“He has a good sense of potential mitigating factors that might be impacting his clients, and he will seek out other colleagues to help his clients.”

view all testimonials
Stay Connected

Get Updates About Our Firm

Our Attorneys encourage client input to customize a strategy to provide the legal services you deserve. We provide experienced representation for those in Florida and now Texas.