Police vehicle searches probabl cause

Cocaine was discovered in the trunk. In Kilgore, the police, working with informants, purchased illegal drugs from Kilgore. The police searched his vehicle without a warrant based upon probable cause. Constitution, ruled that the evidence obtained in both warrantless vehicle searches should be suppressed.

Defining Probable Cause

They held that while probable cause was present, there were not exigent circumstances to justify the warrantless search. Further the Court stated that people have a reduced expectation of privacy in an automobile due to its pervasive regulation.


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The police conducted a traffic stop on Dyson and searched his car without a warrant. Dyson was arrested, tried and convicted in a Maryland court. However, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals overturned the conviction holding that, although there was probable cause to search the vehicle, the police needed a warrant because there was no exigency that prevented them from obtaining the warrant. The police later obtained a search warrant for the car from the wrong county which invalidated the warrant.

Evidence of the murder was obtained from both the car and the apartment.

DEFINITION

The trial court later ruled that the search warrant for the apartment did not establish probable cause and therefore suppressed evidence obtained from the apartment. The trial court allowed the evidence from the search of the car to be admissible. This was appealed and eventually the Georgia Supreme Court heard the case. They decided this case based upon their interpretation of the 4th Amendment to the U.

Therefore in this case a search warrant was necessary. The factors they considered were as follows:. Thomas , and Florida v.

Vehicular Searches

This is based upon the fact that in each of the cases mentioned, the vehicles were in police custody and the defendants were in police custody which rendered no possibility that the vehicle could be moved. The deputy checked the registration and learned the vehicle was not stolen. The deputy observed through the window a baggy with a small amount of a green leafy substance which he recognized as suspected marijuana. The deputy then used an unlocking tool to open the vehicle and seize the suspected marijuana.

The trial court granted the motion to suppress and the State appealed. Additionally, while this decision does not make it clear whether the Court was specifically interpreting the 4th Amendment to the U. Constitution, we can still identify some bright line rules. United States, U. Maroney, U. White, U. Ross, U. Thomas, U. Meyers, U. Labron and Pennsylvania v. Kilgore, U. Dyson, U. Lejeune, Ga.

Supreme Court Changes Law on Vehicle Searches - The International Union of Police Associations

Carney, U. Massa, Ga. Duncan, Ga. Previous Next. Looking at the facts in the most basic manner so that they may be applied to situations officers encounter today we have the following: Probable cause to believe contraband is contained in the vehicle;.

Motor vehicle exception

Officers who had stopped a vehicle developed probable cause to believe that the occupants were suspects in an armed robbery;. The vehicle was searched at the police station while it was in police custody based upon probable cause that it was used in the armed robbery. Officers had probable cause to believe that the defendant who was in a vehicle had committed forgery and evidence of the forgery was contained in the vehicle;. The vehicle was searched without a warrant based upon the probable cause.

The suspect and his accomplice were not in the vehicle or near it;. The suspect and the accomplice did not have access to the vehicle; and. The police seized the vehicle without a warrant and had it searched at a later date. If an officer stops a vehicle on the side of the road or in a parking lot and the officer has probable cause to believe that contraband is in the vehicle, the officer may search the vehicle without a search warrant.

Rule 1 applies even if the occupants are arrested and transported away from the scene. Rule 1 applies even if the vehicle is in police custody at the police station or an impound lot.


  1. Probable Cause | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute.
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  7. When complying with rule 1, 2, or 3 above, the scope of the search of the vehicle is anywhere the object of the search could be located. By Brian S. Batterton, J. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Reddit. About the Author: Brian S. Brian is currently assigned as the Legal Officer to the Chief of Police. In addition to his work at the police department, he also lectures for the Legal and Liability Risk Management Institute LLRMI on both criminal law and procedure topics, as well as, police civil liability. Related Posts. November 5th, 0 Comments.


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    Whren v. The existence of probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred establishes the constitutional reasonableness of traffic stops regardless of the actual motivation of the officers involved, and regardless of whether it is customary police practice to stop motorists for the violation observed.

    Similarly, pretextual arrest of a motorist who has committed a traffic offense is permissible.

    Arkansas v. Sullivan, U. Johnson, S. Sitz, U. Flores-Montano, U. Edmond, U. Edmond was distinguished in Illinois v. Lidster, U. Long, U. Brown, U. Similarly, because there is no reasonable privacy interest in the vehicle identification number, required by law to be placed on the dashboard so as to be visible through the windshield, police may reach into the passenger compartment to remove items obscuring the number and may seize items in plain view while doing so. New York v. Class, U. Compare Illinois v. Caballes, U. Iowa, U. City of Lago Vista, U.

    Belton, U. Gant, U. Thomas, U. The same rule applies if it is the vehicle itself that is forfeitable contraband; police, acting without a warrant, may seize the vehicle from a public place. White, U. See also Chambers v.

    4th Amendment - Vehicle Searches (Do's and Don'ts )

    Dombrowski, U. See also Cooper v. Police, in conducting an inventory search of a vehicle, may open closed containers in order to inventory contents. Bertine, U. Justice Powell concurred on other grounds. Di Re, U. Illinois, U. Pringle, U.

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