Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When Can the Police Search My Car?

The short answer is, it depends.  If the police have stopped your vehicle due to a traffic infraction they may be able to search your vehicle in certain circumstances.  If the police have probable cause to believe there may be illegal drugs or weapons in your vehicle then they will be legally justified in searching your vehicle.  However, probable cause cannot be established purely through a "hunch" of the police officer.  They must have an objectively reasonable basis to believe there are illegal drugs or weapons in the vehicle.  This basis is usually established if the officer see or smell drugs or see weapons within the vehicle.  In addition, if you or one of your passengers were to tell the police officer that there were drugs or weapons in the vehicle they would also most likely have probable cause.  

In addition, regardless of the circumstances, if the police ask for your permission to search your vehicle and you consent to a search, then the police can search your vehicle even without probable cause.  It is very important that you NEVER consent to a search of your vehicle.

If you are in need of a DC drug possession lawyer or a DC gun possession lawyer because of an unlawful search of your vehicle then contact Sean J. Farrelly for a full and free consultation.

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