A Police Officer Might Not Have a Right to Search Your Car for Drugs

29 August 2022
 Categories: , Blog


You are prohibited from being in possession of banned controlled substances. However, the police officer who seizes the controlled substances you use and puts you into custody is not allowed to violate your rights. This includes the right to privacy. If your rights are violated, you can contact a drug crime attorney for help.

Why You Have the Right to Privacy

Under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, you are protected from unreasonable search and seizure. This means that police officers are not allowed to search your vehicle unless they have a valid reason to do so. If your car is searched illegally, any evidence that was seized as a result of this will not be admissible in court. 

Justifications for a Search

The police officer may be able to search your car if they have obtained a search warrant. They are also allowed to search your property if you give them permission to do so. Therefore, you should never agree to this. 

How Probable Cause Works

Probable cause requires more than simply a hunch or bare suspicion. There must be specific evidence that would cause a reasonable individual to conclude that there were illegal drugs in the car.

For example, if the officer observed you using an illegal substance, that could be considered probable cause. When a crime is in plain view, this can be considered sufficient grounds to conduct a search. There needs to be a fair probability or a substantial chance that a crime has occurred before a police officer can take action.

How Probable Cause Can Affect Your Legal Case

Without probable cause, a police officer will not be able to arrest you and will also not be able to conduct a search of your vehicle. They will not be able to charge you with a crime. It might be difficult to determine if the actions taken by the police officer were just. Therefore, you will want to speak with a drug crimes attorney about the best way you can craft a solid legal defense. 

To be able to charge you with a drug crime such as possession with the intent to distribute, the prosecutor will need to prove that you actually knowingly possessed illegal drugs and intended to distribute them. By suppressing evidence and by making legal arguments, you may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed and avoid serious penalties.

To learn more, contact a drug crime law firm such as Epstein & Robbins.