Skip to main content

If the police have to get inside a car, look around in order to find some contraband, is this a search or plain view?

Chicago, IL |

I was dropping my sister off at home when th police drove up and ask do I live around there. I told them no, & I was dropping my sister off. They then got out of the car & told me to get out as well, & started to search me. When they were done searching me, I ask is there a problem, they said no & I was ok. Then he put cuffs on me & put me in the police car. They started searching my car & found some drugs on the floor in the back.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

There is ore to your story than you have revealed. However, rather than discussing it in this very public forum. you should speak in private to a criminal defense attorney since you will need one anyway.

Although AVVO describes this site as providing free legal advice, it is really a simple Q&A forum. The volunteer attorneys provide general answers. No specific legal advice is given here and no attorney-client relationship is established. For precise direction and legal advice, please consult in person with an attorney in your area. Be sure to bring all relevant paperwork with you.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

I imagine what you really want to know is whether you have any grounds to suppress the evidence that was found in your car. The answer is: we don't know. There is almost certainly more to your story than what you have posted here. The search sounds like a search incident to arrest, and although you do not describe any grounds for your arrest, it is somewhat rare for police to arrest individuals without any pretext at all. It's not impossible, but it is rare. In any case, these are questions you should be asking your lawyer. It's clear you have been charged with a crime, hire a lawyer to protect your rights and don't speak to anybody else about this case. Stop posting details on public forums as well, as statements made here may be used against you.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

On the surface this would not appear to be a plain view situation. However, your view is from the back of the cruiser. the officer's view will undoubtedly be more in line with looking down through a window, and considering the years of training and experience the officer observed what appeared to be X drugs in the rear floorboard. Having seen the item in plain view the officer then retrieved the item, which field tested as an illegal substance. The subsequent lab test confirmed.

In short, you need counsel, sooner rather than later.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

Although I cannot comment specifically on your answer, generally if you are out of the car and under police restraint they cannot search your car (unless they have independent grounds to search the car, such as plain view.

Call a lawyer immediately.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. You should be aware that no attorney-client relationship is established through this answer and none will be established without a personal consultation and the signing of an engagement agreement.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

2 comments

Asker

Posted

What if they wouldn't have pull me from my car, & got in only to look around in order to see what's on the floor, because there is no way possible you could have saw this standing on the out side of the car, would that still be considered plain view?

Josh Michael Friedman

Josh Michael Friedman

Posted

That Sounds like an illegal search. Would need to know all the facts before giving you a definitive opinion. Get a lawyer!!

Posted

It can not be considered plain view if they couldn't see it from outside of the vehicle but I'm sure the officers report will claim he saw it in plain view before entering the vehicle. What the other attorneys have said is accurate- there must be more to the story but you shouldn't post the details here. Hire counsel and discuss a motion to suppress as well as a motion to quash the possible unlawful arrest. If you were cuffed before they found the contraband then they surely better have a reason they arrested you or you have at least one and maybe multiple grounds to keep the evidence out! Good luck!

answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Advice on this forum is limited and cannot be relied upon because with the law, it is in the details . Seek legal advise from an attorney you meet with and to whom you provide specific details of situation at issue.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Posted

It can not be considered plain view if they couldn't see it from outside of the vehicle but I'm sure the officers report will claim he saw it in plain view before entering the vehicle. What the other attorneys have said is accurate- there must be more to the story but you shouldn't post the details here. Hire counsel and discuss a motion to suppress as well as a motion to quash the possible unlawful arrest. If you were cuffed before they found the contraband then they surely better have a reason they arrested you or you have at least one and maybe multiple grounds to keep the evidence out! Good luck!

answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Advice on this forum is limited and cannot be relied upon because with the law, it is in the details . Seek legal advise from an attorney you meet with and to whom you provide specific details of situation at issue.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics