CARS AND COPS
100 ‘most asked‘ questions
CAN THE POLICE SEARCH MY CAR WITHOUT A WARRANT?
If a police officer makes a lawful traffic stop he can search your car.
A lawful stop means the officer has at a minimum a reasonable belief that you have violated a criminal law, there is an outstanding warrant for the driver or passenger, or you committed a traffic infraction. The officer can detain you and your passengers for a reasonable time. Reasonable means a sufficient time to issue a citation for the infraction.
Everything within plain view, such as an open container of alcohol, a marijuana cigarette or a weapon can all give the officer probable cause to make an arrest of the driver and passengers.
The officer can detain the car, driver and the passengers for a reasonable time for a drug sniffing dog to be brought to the scene to alert to any controlled substance.