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- Trunk search incident to impaired arrest lawful: evidence admitted in murder case - Blue Line
- Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause During a Traffic Stop
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Generally, before conducting a search, police need a warrant.
Before a search warrant may be issued, the 4th Amendment requires the officer to have probable cause. Thus, where someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy, the police need a warrant before they can conduct a search. Note that the search requirement is lower for automobiles.
If police have probable cause that a car has contraband or evidence of a crime, they may search parts and containers of the car where they may discover that evidence. However, they can only do so in a couple of circumstances. The first is if the defendant consents to search. The second, and more common, is when the police develop probable cause that the trunk contains evidence of a crime.
As a general rule, probable cause will essentially give police the ability to search the entire car. While there are a few wrinkles to this rule, for all intents and purposes, probable cause is all the police need. The exact definition of probable cause will vary by jurisdiction. As a general definition, probable cause is specific and articulable facts that point to evidence of a crime being committed or about to be committed.
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The facts and situation must be of such a nature that an objective, reasonable person would believe criminal activity is afoot. With respect to trunks, police may develop probable cause to search in a myriad of ways. A dog sniff may alert them to the possible presence of drugs.
Likewise, small bags and digital scales may also lead the police to believe that a large quantity of narcotics may be found not only in the passenger compartment, but in the trunk as well. The person requesting the warrant s police officer must swear by the warrant. The officer or person requesting the warrant s is accountable to the issuing court. The Fourth Amendment does not guarantee the right of freedom from unreasonable search and seizures from private citizens of the United States or corporations within the United States.
Trunk search incident to impaired arrest lawful: evidence admitted in murder case - Blue Line
With almost all laws in the United States, there are exceptions to the warrant requirement for government officials before they can arrest or search a person or their property:. Plain View Doctrine: The Plain View Doctrine says that if an officer is lawfully present at a place, that officer may begin a search if they have probable cause that they are looking for contraband. The objects that they search and seize must be in plain view of the officer.
Open Fields Doctrine: The Open Fields Doctrine says that open fields, waters, woods, and other such areas may be searched and have objects seized without the presence of a warrant.
Exigent Circumstances: Exigent Circumstances are when the officer is allowed to perform a search and seizure without a warrant because they feel that it is necessary to the safety of themselves, other officers, the public, and their property. Motor Vehicle Exception: The Motor Vehicle Exception is when an officer can search a vehicle if they have probable cause without a warrant but cannot search the people inside the car without probable cause or unless those people gave their consent.
Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause During a Traffic Stop
Automobiles may be stopped if an officer has a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the motorist has violated a traffic law. One exception to the Fourth Amendments warrant requirement is that, incident to a lawful arrest, police may search an arrestee and the area immediately surrounding him. Such a search must be contemporaneous with the arrest, conducted to prevent the seizure of a weapon or the destruction of evidence, and limited to an area within the arrestees control.
Police may conduct warrantless searches of vehicles and any containers within which are likely to contain what they are looking for whenever police have probable cause to believe that contraband or evidence will be found in the vehicle.
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Once the vehicle has pulled to the side of the road, the Fourth Amendment permits the officer to search the vehicle's interior, including the glove compartment. If you give them permission to go ahead and look, they are allow to do so because you have consented to the search.
You are perfectly free to say no they cannot search the vehicle, and this is probably the smart thing to do in most cases. During this search, they found weapons, money, marijuana, and what police claim was a prescription narcotic. However, since they lacked probable cause to search the trunk, and did not obtain proper consent, the suspect was protected by his Fourth Amendment rights and everything found during the illegal search and seizure was deemed the fruit of a poisonous tree and thus inadmissible in court.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney Blog. Richard Ansara at whoswhopr.