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Does a Ohio State Trooper have the right to open a locked safe in my vehicle after a one car accident with/with out a warrant?

Negley, OH |

no alcohol or drugs caused the accident. My vehicle was the only vehicle involved in the accident.

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Attorney answers 3


A warrantless search of a locked container could be the subject matter of a motion to suppress. I have won this issue in courtrooms (and appeals) before -- but every case requires an individual analysis. Speaking in private with an attorney in his/her office would be a good idea.


I need more information. Was the locked safe in the trunk or the cockpit? Was the car drivable or was it impounded? In general the police need a warrant to search. There are some exceptions. We all want to know what was in the locked safe and were you charged as a result of the content found?



the locked safe was in the cockpit. The car was not drivable and it was not impounded. The trooper removed the safe at the accident scene. I am being charged with drug paraphernalia that was found in the locked safe. Driving fast was not a factor in the accident, I swerved to miss a deer & ended up losing control of my car.


Under some circumstances, yes.

In other circumstances, no.

More details are needed to determine which category your situation falls in.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.



I was taken to hospital before Trooper arrived. My vehicle was not drivable. The Trooper removed the locked safe from inside my vehicle it was not in the drunk at the scene of the accident. I am being charged with drug paraphernalia that was found in that locked safe. I have never been in any trouble or have had any kind of record ever. The vehicle also was not impounded.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


Thats more facts--not enough. Listen--hire a criminal defense attorney tell him or her everything--your attonney MAY be able to find grounds to get the evidence thrown out.

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