Can the Police Search Me for Any Reason or No Reason At All?

No. A police officer can only make a search or your person (your body, your clothes, your personal space) under one of the following three circumstances:
1. You agree to the search. Your consent cannot be forced or the product of a submission to a show of force. It must be freely given, and not the product of police bullying.
2. Officer safety. But that means a real and provable reason. It can be said that police work is always dangerous and that police officer safety is always a top and legitimate concern. True enough. But a sleeping grandma or a three month old baby are not a reasonable threat and cannot be searched. Likewise, even a fully grown adult male can’t be searched for office safety unless he does something that would create a reasonable (attach a reason) to be a threat. Officer safety must be proven before a judge will allow the things found during a non-consensual search to be used to convict you.
3. Lastly (thirdly?) After a lawful arrest.

Florida criminal lawyers live and breathe by the hundreds of cases that clarify and are fact specific to the above three paragraphs. Don’t think by understanding the basic rules you can be correct in your evaluation of a fact pattern surrounding a search. Speak with a local criminal defense lawyer before you stick your foot in your mouth, or worse, get in trouble with the law. There is no substitute for knowledge and experience and there is no end to woe from ignorance and stupidity. Ask and know. Or, better still; buy a copy of my book “CAN THE POLICE LIE TO ME?” you can buy it on for $18.95.

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