What are the limitations for probable cause?

Asked over 2 years ago - Portland, OR

Yesterday my friend was pulled over for speeding on the freeway while I was in the car. The police officer came to the passenger side door and asked for license & registration. He noticed a grinder sitting in the car and asked to search it. When I asked "why?" he replied that he had only seen grinders used for marijuana. I told him I did not consent. He told me that if he had to get dogs he would. Then he told me that he had probable cause for search because I would have consented if the contents were legal. I then handed over the grinder and after that a water pipe. I still don't agree with his assessment. The only reason for search was a hunch that the contents of a closed container may contain an illegal substance. I was then given a ticket for $650 for possession of under an ounce.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult with a criminal defense attorney, in private. It seems quite likely that this officer performed an illegal search. A person's refusal to consent to search, without more, does not create probable cause of a crime having been committed - if it did, then consent would be meaningless. Don't post any more details here or anywhere else on the internet. Talk to a defense lawyer as soon as you can. If you're approached by the police, the only thing you should say to them is "I don't want to answer any questions, and I'd like to speak to a lawyer, please." Everyone should memorize this phrase, and know to stop talking after saying it.

    Nothing posted on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are... more
  2. Brian S Wayson

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Attorney Bodzin has provided you with a sound answer to your post, I urge you to heed his wise words.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice,... more

Related Topics

Probable cause and criminal defense

Probable cause, which is based on reasonable suspicion and supporting circumstances, is a legal standard under which law enforcement officers obtain warrants.

Vehicle searches

A vehicle search is only legal if there is probable cause. However, if you give permission, even if the officer doesn't have probable cause, a search is legal.

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