What to do if you get stopped by a police officer? First of all, do not panic. Know your First Amendment rights. Be also aware that there are certain occasions on which the police are authorized to search your car without a warrant.
What are these exceptions?
You have provided a consent
Numerous people don’t know how to react when they get stopped by a police officer. It is important to note that you can refuse to have your car searched if the police officers do not present a valid warrant to do so. Please note that your consent to have your car searched immediately waives your First Amendment rights. Be aware that once the police conduct a search, any evidence found against any of the car passengers will be valid for a potential investigation.
Probable cause means that the police have evidence to believe that you have been involved in a crime. Once an officer has a probable cause to investigate your car, he/she has the right to do so without a warrant.
The Police Can Search Your Car Due to an Arrest
If the owner of a vehicle has been arrested, the police has the legal right to search his/her car. Please be aware that the police can only search areas that are ‘’in control of the driver’’; this excludes the car’s trunk area.
Plain View Exception
If the police notice an illegal item in your car and they are on duty on the premises, they have the right to seize the item from your car. The law obligates them to act accordingly when they can see a violation of law in “plain view”.
If there is an ongoing crime evidence of a crime that needs to be immediately addressed or it will be lost, the police generally have the right to search through your car.
For more info, contact our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Kravitz & Guerra at +1.305.372.0222 or [email protected]