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Attorneys Barbara Kibbey and Jordan R. Wagner
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Did police have the right to search my car?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Every day, numerous Florida residents are pulled over by police officers while driving. Most are talked to and sent on their way, but others end up being asked to step out of their vehicles and having their automobiles searched. It feels like a complete invasion of privacy and leaves people wondering if their rights have been violated. It also leaves most individuals questioning if police had the right to search their cars in the first place.

Is it okay for an officer to search someones car?

The truth is, yes, law enforcement officers do have the right to search cars. However, that is if, and only if, they have probable cause. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unlawful search and seizure. Officers generally need a warrant, a valid reason or a persons permission before they can initiate the search.

Searching without a warrant

Officers may search a vehicle without a warrant in limited circumstances. As previously stated, they can search if they have cause or if given consent. They can also initiate a search if they feel it is necessary for their safety or if they have arrested the driver and need to search as part of their investigation. 

What to do if they search without cause?

Florida residents whose vehicles have been searched without proper cause may be able to challenge the use of any evidence acquired in the search. Legal counsel can help with this. While it is not easy to challenge the legality of a vehicle search, it is possible and can help ones case if it is done successfully.