The Ability Of Police To Search A Vehicle Is Not Absolute
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 11, 2014 – Deciding what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy revolves around two questions.
“The ability of the police to search automobiles is not absolute. However, if a court finds that evidence presented in court was taken during an unlawful search, the prosecution is barred from using it,” explains criminal defense attorney, Thomas C. Grajek.
A search happens when representatives of the government, such as police officers, invade an area where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy. There are two questions involved in the determination of this expectation. Did the individual actually have in their mind such an expectation and would that mentally internalized expectation be reasonable to a non-involved third party?
There are some situations in which an individual can refuse to let their vehicle be searched. The police, or other agents, are not required to advise a person they have that right. If the person does agree to a search, the decision must be made without any undue pressure exerted by the police. “An individual may also restrict where an agent can search and you may change your mind once the search has begun,” adds Grajek.
If the police have probable cause to search a vehicle, they may do so without the driver giving permission. The probable cause would be related to the belief the vehicle had evidence relating to a crime. An example would be a driver pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer approaching the car may determine the individual looks like a suspect wanted for robbing a convenience store and notices several cartons of cigarettes in the backseat. This kind of a situation may create probable cause.
If an arrest is lawful, the arresting officer may search the person and the immediate area around that individual, which may include a vehicle. This is only permissible if the person is arrested. If the person is not arrested and the officer pulled them over to issue a citation, the car may not be searched.
“Vehicle searches are complex and it is best to understand the law and how it affects you. Speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer to find out what your rights are,” says Grajek.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
View Larger Map
- Criminal Profiling is not just done on TV
The law enforcement tactic of criminal profiling, pioneered by FBI Agent John Douglas, is not just a tool injected into TV shows for extra entertainment, but is a reality in law enforcement, even used to try and hunt down Jack the Ripper in London. Profiling does not take place in a vacuum and investigators rely on any evidence found at a crime scene to draw conclusions. Other important aspects police consider are the crime location, the circumstances of the crime, whether it is similar in nature to another crime (using the same modus operandi), if there is any physical evidence […]
- Sexually Dangerous Convicts Can be Held Indefinitely
The government now has more power and discretion in holding sexually dangerous convicts. At one time, once a sexually dangerous inmate served a full sentence, he or she was released. The U.S. Supreme Court has now indicated this may no longer be the case when it comes to sexually dangerous convicts. How is a convict classified as being sexually dangerous? There are two conditions that an inmate must meet prior to receiving this classification. In the first, a court must see clear evidence and convincing proof that the convict would not be able to stop molesting children or cease sexually […]
- Arrest made in Polk County "SWAT"ting incident involving "anonymous" calls to police to lure SWAT team to high school.
A Canadian juvenile was arrested in the recent Polk County “swatting” case. “SWATting” is when an individual attempts to lure the SWAT time to respond to a location for a fake threat of some type. Polk County deputies allege the teen anonymously placed hoax calls to law enforcement officials in an effort to lure SWAT teams to respond to Ft. Meade high school over the past four-months. Deputies say the investigation began in September, when an unidentified male called the sheriff’s office and Fort Meade High School and said he was going to “drive to Fort Meade High School in […]