Skip to main content

Is it illegal for a cop to search your car without asking you or letting you know

Middletown, DE |

i was stopped recently cop comes up to passenger side asks for licence and registration as soon as i gave it to him he made me get out of the car sit behind it and then he started searching it without asking or at least letting me know he was going to be doing so

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    It largely depends on why he stopped you, did he smell drugs, see a gun, were you fleeing from a scene of a crime? Or are you merely deaf and he took your nonchalant no answer as permission to take your car apart piece by piece and later will state he had your permission?

    My offices does represent people from Avvo if they contact me but only in the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside County in Southern California. The answers I give here are not meant to create an attorney client relationship. When accepting clients I conduct interviews face to face and they often take 30 minutes or more. I approach trials and issues from a legal and common sense approach, This is how the majority of judges I have appeared before in 40 years also make decisions. I do not intend by my advice to enter an attorney client relationship and in most cases advise to obtain legal representation. Sometimes if you can not afford it a consultation or limited scope representation is available. As an experienced attorney I can tell you, judges can be impatient, hate emotional arguments and over exagerations or lies. A brief outline of the problems and desired solutions is often best and I d0 limited scope representations advise clients on how to proceed at time of hearing or trial and my fees are considerably less when I do not appear in court as it takes much less of my time.


  2. That search may or may not have been illegal. Did the officer's search result in the seizure of anything illegal? If not, you have a wrong without a remedy--other than filing a complaint with the police department. IF something illegal was discovered, hire a lawyer immediately to assist.

    San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--19 years experience. Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy


  3. I agree with Mr. Finnecy. If the search resulted in the officer finding something illegal, there is a chance that you will have an argument to preclude the evidence. However, you will need to sit down with an attorney to answer some questions to determine if you have an argument or how strong it will be.


  4. The answer to your question really depends on the specifics of what happened, but yes, there are certain scenarios in a traffic stop where an officer is allowed to search your car. The reasons for the search are often challenged later in court. However, I cannot tell from your question if you were arrested for anything. If the officer seized evidence and you were arrested, you should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.

Criminal defense Topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Questions?
An attorney can help.

Post a question and get free legal advice from attorneys.

Ask a Lawyer

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics