QUESTION

Can a police search your car without permission?

Asked on May 11th, 2011 on Criminal Law - Arkansas
More details to this question:
My boyfriend got pulled over and they searched the car without permission. He had a drug charge. Is that just cause?
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25 ANSWERS
Answered on May 17th, 2011 at 10:14 AM
Police cannot search you car unless they have probable cause to do so.

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Answered on May 16th, 2011 at 2:31 PM
In Michigan, a vehicle can be searched for many reasons. First, there has to be probable casue to stop the vehicle. Next, the vehicle can be searched in the area of the driver for safety of the police officer. Alternatively, there could be permission to search. If there is an arrest, then the vehicle could be subject to an inventory search. I suggest that you retain an attorney to review the particulars of your case. You may contact my office to make an appointment to discuss representation. I hope that this was helpful.

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Answered on May 16th, 2011 at 11:22 AM
The police may search the car if. 1 he gives permission 2 if he is on probation or parole 3 if they have probable cause.

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Answered on May 16th, 2011 at 10:54 AM
Good question but much too complex to answer without a lot more detail. You will need to call so we can talk so I can ask questions which may help me answer your question. Unfortunately, the police have a lot of authority to search cars under certain circumstances.

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Answered on May 16th, 2011 at 9:22 AM
If the police had probably cause to pull you over then they have the right to search inside the car. They may not, however, open a locked glove compartment or trunk without your permission.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 2:50 PM
No, not unless they have a search warrant. You need to call an experienced attorney such as myself.....visit my website for more information regarding how to obtain an experienced, knowledgeable attorney with great reviews.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 2:44 PM
Yes, the police can search a vehicle without permission. You mentioned a drug charge, was your boyfriend arrested for drugs at the time? If so they may be able to search the vehicle subsequent to arrest. Was there a pending arrest warrant out on a drug charge, if so, same answer. Was your boyfriend out on probation following a drug charge? If so he might be subject to search and seizure. So Yes, the police can search a vehicle without permission from the owner.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 11:41 AM
They cannot search without probable cause. But they frequently lie about that in order to get legal justification. For more info or a fee quote call.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Under some circumstances, they can search your car without your permission. However, a prior drug charge, by itself, is not a good enough reason to search a car. I would have to hear more about it to give you my opinion about whether the search of your boyfriend's car was unlawful.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 10:52 AM
The police are not allowed to simply search your vehicle at random. However, if they charged him with a crime, then they are allowed to do a search "incident to a lawful arrest" and that could be how they did it. Nonetheless, police often try to gain access to a person's car by asking/telling them that they "just want to look around" and ask if "that's alright with you?" Right?" Most people will feel intimidated and say "Yes" and that's all the police need to search your entire vehicle. Instead, say "I respectfully decline to allow any search of my vehicle, thank you." Hire a good lawyer for him right away. Good luck.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 10:50 AM
They cannot unless they can establish a warrant requirement exception.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 10:17 AM
Was he arrested? If so there is a good chance our office can get the charges dismissed. We can represent you.

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Martin E. Blank
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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 9:59 AM
Generally, police officers need your permission or a warrant to search your car. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. For example, the can search incident to an arrest, or if they have probable cause to believe there is contraband in the car and getting a warrant could cause loss of the contraband.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 9:55 AM
There may be ground to have the drugs located in the car suppressed based on an illegal search. When evidence is suppressed it cannot be used in court against the defendant. If the drugs are the State's key evidence, then the case might be dismissed. The process to challenge the admissibility of the drugs is a complicated legal matter that should be handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 9:42 AM
The answer would depend on whether the officer had probable cause. Without knowing the circumstances of the stop a more specific answer is not possible. As a general rule, the police could not pull you over for no reason and then conduct a search. For more information, contact us.

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Answered on May 13th, 2011 at 9:32 AM
No police may not search a car without a warrant or an exception such as consent.

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Jeff Fengcheng Yeh
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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 12:38 PM
No it isn't. But what likely happened is your boyfriend didn't say NO, and when you don't say no explicitly, it is considered implied consent. He ought to get a lawyer to litigate this probable cause issue.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 11:52 AM
Police can only search your vehicle on a traffic stop in two instances: 1) the owner/driver gives permission, or 2) the police have probable cause to believe that drugs or other contraband will be found. Just because he has a previous drug charge is not enough. The police would have to articulate some probable cause such as they could see drugs or drug paraphernalia in plain view of the vehicle, an odor of drugs was emanating and obvious, or something else they could point to that would indicated drugs would be found. I would suggest having an experienced criminal defense attorney review the police report and cruiser cam video right away. A trained eye will be able to evaluate the facts and determine if a suppression and/or dismissal motion should be made.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 11:17 AM
It depends on the facts. I am a former federal and state prosecutor and now handle criminal. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me if you wish to retain counsel.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 11:17 AM
The answer isn't an easy or straight-forward one that can be answered based on a two line question. Can they search? It depends. Did they have a warrant? Did they seek consent? Did they arrest him for something before they searched? Did he have a license? Did they have independent probable cause to search the car? Search issues are fact specific, so the entire situation will need to be reviewed by a criminal defense attorney to examine the legality of the search. If the search was illegal, the evidence is out.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Under the Unites States Constitution you have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney he can examine the facts of a case and try to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a search. If the government has no evidence then there should be no criminal charge.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Yes, if they claim to have probable cause to do so. Yes, if he is on probation or parole, either of which waives his 4th Amendment rights. Yes, if they claim he consented. If arrested or charged with a crime, you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 11:07 AM
If you are under arrest for something, the car can be searched for inventory purposes. Contact me for a free consultation.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 10:39 AM
No. They must have probable cause to search the car, absent consent.

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Answered on May 12th, 2011 at 10:39 AM
Generally not, but there are exceptions. Some include whether he was on probation or whether he was arrested while in the car, or arrested outside of the car but there is a reasonable likelihood there is evidence of that crime still in the car.

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