Most of us have all felt that moment of panic when the red and blue lights of a law enforcement officer’s vehicle decorates our rear view mirror. Generally, our road violation results in nothing but a traffic ticket, and we’re sent on our way. But what are your rights should the officer say that they need to search your vehicle?
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects people from unlawful searches and seizure of their assets. Unlawful searches violate your right to privacy. But, there is an "automobile exception".
Police Vehicle Search Requirements
In Florida, drivers are able to say no to a search of their vehicle, but that denial may not always work. Florida law states that a police officer can search a car without a driver’s consent in two scenarios:
The officer has probable cause to believe the car has contraband or drugs inside (this could be just smelling a drug such as marijuana or spotting a pipe in plain view).
An individual in the car is already being arrested, and a search of the car is performed as “incident to the arrest.”
Questions About Police Stops?
Cooperating with law enforcement is always in your best interest, but if you’ve been in a scenario in which you feel you were treated unfairly, we’re here to help. Contact Lowman Law Firm to discuss your situation at no cost. We are here for you.