The fourth amendment of the constitution requires government searches to be conducted with a warrant. There are, however, exemptions to this requirement. In other words, an officer can search your vehicle without a warrant in certain situations.
Times When Police Are Not Required to Get a Warrant
- You give consent. If you verbally state that a cop may search your car, he or she can do so without a warrant.
- Officer has probable cause. If an officer has reasonable grounds to believe you may be involved in criminal activity, he can search your car for evidence of that crime. Police officers are consistently putting themselves in the face of danger. Hence, judges give them leniency when deciding if evidence was enough for a search due to probable cause.
- Search is necessary for protection. An officer has the right to search your car if he believes it’s necessary for his own protection. An example is if he believes there are concealed weapons in your vehicle that you are not licensed for.
- You’re being arrested. If you have just been arrested for a crime, then officers are lawfully allowed to search your vehicle in relation to that crime.
There are plenty of reasons an officer can use to justify searching your car. They do not need a warrant, only probable cause. If you were arrested after police searched your vehicle, speak with a criminal lawyer. The attorney can review your case to determine whether cops searched your vehicle illegally.