When do police have the right to search you or your car?

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By Marcus Fernandez

What are my rights when I have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer?” As criminal defense attorneys in Tampa, this is one of the most common questions we receive. If you have watched any of the law enforcement reality shows on TV, you have likely witnessed that many individuals are unaware of what their search and seizure rights are under the Constitution. While nerve-wracking, it’s important to understand the answers to questions such as:

  • Are the police allowed to search my vehicle?
  • Can I refuse a police officer’s request to search my car?
  • How will my case be impacted if I refuse an officer’s search?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects every citizen from illegal search by law enforcement. However, this protection does not apply to every situation.

There are scenarios where an officer is permitted to search your vehicle without your consent. In this video blog, Rob Roy of Kinney, Fernandez & Boire explains when law enforcement is allowed to search you or your vehicle and what to do, if you’ve been subject to an unlawful search and seizure.

“When do police have the right to search you or your car?” Vlog Transcript:

“The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens against unlawful search and seizure. When do police officers have the right to validly search you or your property? If you give them consent. If they have a valid search warrant. If there is probable cause of evidence of a crime. If it is for officer safety. But, if these facts do not exist in your case, the government may be violating your rights. In courts across America every day, judges are asked to review cases involving the fourth amendment and it is not uncommon that evidence is suppressed or cases are dismissed. These actions are designed to protect all of us. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime and you believe these issues exist in your case, you need a lawyer. Contact KFB Law and I will personally handle your case.”

Do you have a question that you would like to see answered in a future vlog? Contact us or submit your question on our Facebook page.