Car smelled of marijuana and the driver was on felony probationary for drugs already
There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement that permit warrantless searches, such as the ''automobile exception'' and a ''search incident to lawful arrest.'' The general automobile exception allows a police officer to search a car when the officer believes that there is “probable cause” that the vehicle contains evidence of a crime. With regard to the probable cause required for searches, it means a reasonable belief that evidence of a crime or contraband would be found in a search. So, a police officer may search the area in which he or she believes the contraband can be found. If the police makes a lawful arrest of the driver, he or she may may make a warrantless search of the passenger compartment of the car. This search includes the glove compartment, but not the trunk. If a dog is used to conduct a search, then the search could extend to the locked trunk and really any small container because marijuana can be concealed in small places. So, in your scenario, the search of the trunk could be an illegal search. This would be a violation of the 4th amendment "unreasonable searches and seizures."
More facts are needed to properly answer the question. The mere smell of weed, alone, wouldn't justify the search of the trunk or glove compartment. The fact that the person was on probation is irrelevant. If the person consented to the search, they wouldn't need a warrant. If the person was arrested for something and the car taken into police custody, under certain circumstances, the search might be permissible to inventory the contents.
The answer to your question is very fact-specific. Your probation status complicates it. You should be discussing this with your own lawyer, there. I would suggest the lawyer you had when you were placed on probation.
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This is very fact specific. I suggest that you hire a good criminal defense lawyer.
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You need to discuss the whole situation with an attorney in person. Many things can lead to a warrantless search and there are also things that would make this search illegal.
If this answer was helpful please click that block. Answers in the forum are only general and it is always best to contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.
If you could be arrested for anything then they can do an "inventory search". If hey smell pot that is probable cause to search the car, but the trunk is another matter. If they get a drug dog that may be further probable cause. Retain a good lawyer from the Avvo list to try and have the search held invalid and the case dismissed.
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