Is it true that police officers in California can print warrants to search your car? 9 Answers as of November 04, 2010

Is it true that cops in California can print warrants to search your car on the spot? Even if they do not have probable cause?

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Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
No, they cannot print warrants like that.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
No. Warrants need to be signed by a judge.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Print warrants? No. They can certainly assert probable cause and search over your objection. They can also detain you while requesting a warrant be issued by a judge.

What can you do if arrested because of something they found? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea, arrange bail reduction or OR, set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date[s]. File evidence suppression or other motions as applicable. Raise all the available defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for motions, plea bargaining, or at trial. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a decent plea bargain for you. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
No. Warrants have to be signed by a judge and rarely are obtained to search a car since there is not time. Car searches can occur with probable cause, by the consent of the driver or on occasion when the person is lawfully arrested on some charge already.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
I have no idea where you got that information, but no, it is not true.

First of all, a search must be based on either valid consent, a search warrant or a recognized exception to the warrant requirement, but still based on probable cause.

A search warrant can be obtained for a car, but there are certain technical requirements for a warrant, including that they be signed by a magistrate (a.k.a. a judge). Can some tech-savvy officer have a computer and printer in their car and print a warrant? Yes. It doesn't make it valid unless it's signed by a judge though.

You may be thinking of printed consent to search forms. Officers routinely carry those and try to seek consent from people.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    I'm not sure what you mean by "print" warrants. Warrants can only be issued by a judge or magistrate upon a showing of probable cause. Officers can search automobiles without a warrant, though, for other reasons, such as if they have probable cause to arrest a person who was in the car and there is reasonable cause to believe there is evidence of THAT crime within the vehicle. However, once they remove someone from the car and arrest them, if they do not have reasonable cause to believe that evidence of the crime for which they were arrested is in the car, they cannot go back in to search indiscriminately for evidence of ANY crime. Again, there are exceptions if they are going to impound the car and they have a valid inventory policy wherein they take an inventory of the contents of a vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    They can get a telephonic warrant from a judge but they need probable cause to get it. They can also make up a story like you were weaving or when they approached the car they smelled pot, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    No a warrant has to be issued by a judge. There can be other reasons why they legally can search your car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Not true. Warrants must be signed by a Judge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
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