If a cop thought I was driving drunk, could he search my car? How? 14 Answers as of May 13, 2015

I was pulled over on suspicion that I was driving drunk. I had not had anything to drink, I was just a little tired I guess. Anyway, the cop pulled me over, had me get out and do sobriety tests which I passed and breathalyzed me and got 0. Then he searched my car and found a small amount of marijuana. I was not high while I was driving, and I do not see how he had the right to search my car. Was this an illegal search?

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
He smelled the marijuana. The right attorney can file a motion to suppress and fight the case.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/13/2015
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
It depends on where the cop found the marijuana. If it was in "plain sight" it is not an illegal search. If the cop had to dig for it (open the glove compartment, trunk, dig into the car seats, etc.) the search was probably illegal.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2015
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
He could only search your car if he was going to arrest you, or if he could articulate a fear he needed to search for weapons before he let you back into the car to let you go. Just because you blew a 0 does not mean he could not have charged you with driving while intoxicated - one can be intoxicated on drugs (including marijuana). Also, if he smelled marijuana (which he may lie and claim he did), then he could search.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/11/2015
Ksicinski | Paul Ksicinski
You need to get a lawyer now. I understand why you asked these questions but realize these are public and anyone can read this. You may have some defenses which if discussed in public you may lose. Make no more statements without an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/11/2015
Best DUI Lawyer
Best DUI Lawyer | Aniko Hoover
Well, police can always ask to search your car- if you say yes then they can search it. Also they can have a canine unit "dog" sniff your car and if it alerts they can search your car. Also, if they arrest you for DUI they actually have to search your car to "inventory it" before they have it towed to the tow yard. So he probably searched your car while "taking inventory" before towing it. I'd be surprised if he even charged you with possession though- nowadays they mostly go for the DUI arrest only but they may confiscate your "Medicine" and keep it as "evidence".
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Sounds very close to unconstitutional, get an attorney, defend yourself, and stop admitting your crime over the internet.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Based on these facts alone, the search appears to be unwarranted. My experience is that there are usually more facts, which can be learned from the discovery in the case. Get an experienced criminal lawyer to advise you. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Probably. See the case of U.S. V Rodriguez.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    Yes, if he had no reason to arrest you before his search of your car found the marijuana. Hire an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Did you consent to the search police can only search a car if they are investigating a crime and believe that evidence of that crime is contained in the car or if a person consents to a search (do you mind if I look in your car?) - if neither, then an illegal search - very common.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    If you did not agree to the search, he had no probable cause, and you were not under arrest then he did not have the right to search your car and whatever he found would be inadmissible in court.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Problem is, you probably consented to it. If you don't implicitly say no, then you've implicitly consented.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It depends upon whether there was probably cause and you have not provided enough information to make that determination.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    It seems as if this was an illegal search based upon the facts you have provided.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2015
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