Skip to main content

Is it legal for a police officer to take my car keys out of my pocket while I was being detained for DWI?

Albany, NY |

I was sitting in the cop car, I was not arrested officially until I reached the police station, and I was not in the car when I was "pulled over". I was out of the car, and the cop ordered me to get into the car.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


This question is a bit confusing: what exactly is your question?



If a police officer is allowed to take my keys away if I haven't been arrested.


Can they take your keys incident to arrest? Yes. It sounds like you may have other issues regarding physical control. You should contact an attorney to discuss further. Good lluck.


If you are being detained in a police car that can be an arrest and the police can search you. More facts are needed about your situation. Hire a good criminal defense lawyer.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

Michael J Palumbo

Michael J Palumbo


"Who is on first...I don't know!"


What car were you out of? What car were you ordered to get into?


The officer can take your keys if he suspects you may try to flee in your vehicle, or if you could use the keys as a weapon against the officer, property, or yourself.

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

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