Noobie -Advice about hidden compartments in car

Discussion in 'Automotive Electronics' started by Wizardary, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Wizardary

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 23, 2016
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    hi all I'm an automotive upholsterer in Australia a little tec knowledge but may need things simplified at times.
    Currently toying with hidden car audio motorised panels and components.
    Any assistance you can offer would be gratuitously accepted.
     
  2. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Welcome!
     
  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    This could be fun. The State of Ohio (U.S.A.) has passed a law declaring that all hidden compartments must be drug smuggling equipment. Instant arrest and jail. How are you doing in The Land of Oz? Is this going to be legal or will people all over the planet find they are wanted criminals for helping you?

    http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/eric-scheiner/man-arrested-having-concealed-compartment-vehicle
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  4. Wizardary

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 23, 2016
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    Non of that here atm besides its only really for security measures as the head unit will be behind the panel.
     
  5. #12

    Expert

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    Consider vacuum motors. You might build them as, "must have vacuum to open the panel". There's a load of them in my recent car purchase, so that might indicate they are inexpensive. Even cheaper at the junk yard! Then there some variable position electric motors and their circuits, but only one of four still works in a 10 year old car.:(
    If you want to do electrical, think about the mechanics. Rack and pinion? String on a pulley? Linear motor? Already have a supplier? Are you here for the circuits?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  6. hp1729

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    Now there is an interesting law. I can see the sense of considering those who knowingly contribute to a crime by making such a compartment are equally guilty of the crime.
     
  7. blocco a spirale

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 18, 2008
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    It seems that it doesn't matter whether a crime has been committed only that it may have been and the penalties for these not-crimes are often harsher than for actual crimes.
     
  8. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    Notice that the law has "with the intent of" and "with knowledge that" clauses in it. So, presumably, the prosecution will have to prove that THIS defendant (who was driving a borrowed car and claims not to even know that the compartment existed) was guilty of "operating, possessing, or using 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."
     
  9. #12

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    This case is so without merit that it makes me wonder if it was initiated to get a court to strike down the law.
     
  10. #12

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    And I can understand wanting a compartment that every passenger (which might be a child) can't find and get into just by looking.
    My latest car has a center console with a compartment big enough to carry a couple of .45 pistols, a drawer under the passenger seat, and a glove compartment, but there are no locks. Some perfectly legal things shouldn't be where just anybody can get at them. I could conceal a radar detector in the overhead console because it's built to hold a garage door opener or two, but again, no lock. Do you drill holes in the original equipment to install locks or do you make a place to hide things that might get stolen? In Ohio, that makes me a drug dealer?:confused:

    Another aspect is that, in my Ford Explorer, there are plenty of places to hide things, and almost every interior panel can be removed without any tools. Our Father Who Art in Detroit provided lots of compartments. I think I could fit an AK-47 in the passenger side, rear compartment, where the sub-woofer box is, but it's factory original...so it's legal? Or is the Ford Motor company a drug dealer?

    This law seems to spell out what it means, but the very first arrest is an abuse of the law.
    If you think abuse of power is a rare event, google: "Civil Forfeiture" or, "policing for profit".
    Give a badge an inch and it will take a mile.
     
  11. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    I probably wouldn't have too much of a problem with THIS law, based on the portion that was quoted in the article, because it seems to pretty clearly say that having a hidden compartment or driving a vehicle with a hidden compartment is not, by itself, illegal. As written, what is illegal is the act of having or doing those things with the intent to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, an illegal act. Lots of things are illegal without the actual commission of an illegal act. For instance, conspiracy to commit murder is illegal even if no one is ever harmed.

    Most laws would not make it absolutely illegal to kick in your neighbor's front door precisely because you might be kicking in their door because their house is on fire. Well-written laws are written such that there is an element of intent to commit -- or sometimes the actual commission of -- an illegal act that is required. This law has that in place and in, to me, a reasonably crafted way.

    As long as the judicial branch holds the prosecution in any case based on this law to the standard spelled out in the law, namely that the indicated intent must be proven to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, then I don't have a problem at all. Yes, showing intent in something like this is a lot easier said than done -- as it should be -- but it is not impossible by any means in all cases.

    The problem is that, increasingly, law enforcement and, worse, courts do not bother with the letter (or even the spirit) of the law, but rather make up their own interpretations regardless of how flagrantly it violates the law as written.
     
  12. #12

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    As long as no police officer humiliates, threatens, arrests, handcuffs, aims a gun at me, tows the car, costs me a towing fee, bail bond, and a lawyer's fee, I don't have a problem either.
     
  13. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Maybe another reason Ford is building cars in Mexico?:)
     
    ISB123 and #12 like this.
  14. Wizardary

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 23, 2016
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    Well if nothing else this has hi-lighted the need for those of us customising car audio to be aware of the laws and their implications.
     
  15. WBahn

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    I don't set the bar quite that high. I recognize that "probable cause" is not the same as "absolutely certain". Which means that there WILL be situations in which "probably cause" turns out to be wrong. Since I'm willing to allow for a degree of discretion when the cops are actually confronting the real bad guy, I have to accept their having the same degree of discretion when confronting me. Similarly, whatever restrictions I insist that they abide by when confronting me I have to insist that they be bound by when confronting the real bad guy and not getting all upset when, as a consequence, the real bad guy is let go and then commits an even more heinous offense.

    What I WOULD like to very much see is the government hold itself to at least the same standards of conduct and accountability that they insist private individuals and corporations be held to. If I do something that turns out to be wrong and someone else is harmed by it, then I am usually held accountable for making them whole. To use that door-kicking example from before, in most places if I kick down my neighbors door because I think his house is on fire and it turns out that one of their kids has simply lit off a smoke bomb in his bedroom, then I will not be criminally liable for breaking and entering, but I would still be civilly liable for destruction of private property and held accountable for repairing/replacing the door. So if the government takes actions that turn out to be wrong, then they should be required to make me whole, at least economically and, as the situation warrants, punitively.

    Of course, they will say that this would place such an economic burden on them that they wouldn't be able to function. Well, why isn't that true for the individuals and businesses that they place that burden on?

    My position is that if they knew that they would routinely be held accountable for economic damages due to mistakes (even reasonable mistakes under the probably cause threshold), then they would spend a hell of a lot more time making sure that those mistakes are few and far between -- just like most individuals and businesses are expected to do.

    If they want to place caps and other limitations on their degree of liability, fine -- just as long as they place comparable caps and limitations on the degree of liability of everyone else.
     
  16. be80be

    Senior Member

    Jul 5, 2008
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    At post 15 Amen are you running to president cause we need the degree of liability the same for everyone
    That's the big problem we have and it's more then in just this. It's in everything.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  17. WBahn

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    I've often said that I am more than willing to be bound by any laws that any group of lawyers want to pass -- provided all of those laws apply equally well to those same lawyers.
     
  18. #12

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    Enjoy your stay at the Greybar Hotel. Drug suspects get a free prostate exam.:)
     
  19. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    This is so far out in left field, it would be nearly impossible to prove "intent". I would never arrest anyone for this, it's garbage, plus a Warrant Commissioner has to sign off on it. Probably what got him was his friend having some pot on him.
     
  20. WBahn

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    That would be my guess, too. If the cop smelled something distinctive (like pot) that is illegal in that state, then that is almost certainly probably cause to search the vehicle. No warrant needed. Finding the hidden compartment within that context might well meet the requirement for the arrest. But I don't see much chance in hell of being able to prove intent unless an investigation turns up something significantly more -- and it's unlikely that any kind of thorough investigation would take place for a case like this.
     
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