One of the most common mistakes people make when dealing with the police
is allowing a police officer to search their car. It is very important
to understand that the police DO NOT have an automatic right to search
your vehicle. When asked, you may, and always should, refuse the search.
You may say to yourself, "There's no reason to refuse the search
because I have nothing to hide." But you have to remember that the
police officer will arrest you for anything illegal in your vehicle, whether
you know about it or not! And while you may have never had anything illegal
in your car, what if a friend left her prescription Xanax in the backseat?
Yes, you would in all likelihood be arrested in that situation.
However, if you do NOT give an officer consent to search the vehicle, the
officer can only search the vehicle if he has probable cause to believe
an illegal item or evidence of a crime (like
marijuana or other
drugs, for instance) is in your vehicle. This is where an experienced
attorney can provide a vigorous defense of your case. Just because the officer
eventually finds contraband in your vehicle does NOT mean he ever had
the right to search the vehicle in the first place. In these situations,
I will investigate the case thoroughly and determine whether the search
was legal. If the search was or may be illegal, I will file a Motion to
Suppress and have a hearing on the issue. If the Judge rules in favor
of that motion, the case is typically dismissed.
So remember, never consent to a search of your vehicle and, if you get
arrested for an offense arising out of a vehicle search, call
our office immediately and we can fight this charge and save your record.