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.