Providing Comprehensive, Hands-On Legal Help When You Need It

When can the police search your vehicle? 

Being stopped by law enforcement on the road can be very stressful. In some cases, individuals may even be approached when the vehicle isn’t in motion. 

Generally, law enforcement cannot interfere with your liberty unjustifiably. In other words, they can’t pull you over for no reason or force you to talk to them. However, if they have reasonable suspicion then they are entitled to pull you over and ask questions. 

Are they allowed to search your vehicle

Did you permit them? 

Everything you say matters when you’re approached by law enforcement. In fact, your best course of action is often to invoke your Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Why? Well, firstly, anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. Also, you may inadvertently permit the officers to search the vehicle. Providing consent to law enforcement allows them to legally search the vehicle. 

If there’s evidence of a crime 

Another lawful reason for the police to conduct a car search is if there is probable cause that a criminal offense has been committed. For example, if potentially illegal weapons or suspicious substances are in plain view.  

The officer may also be able to justify a search in these circumstances if they can show that their physical safety or their colleagues or the general public were in some kind of physical danger. 

You have a right to privacy as well as freedom from harassment by law enforcement. If you feel like a search was unjustified, this may provide grounds to defend the charges against you. When facing any criminal charge, it is pivotal to seek legal guidance.