Do the Police Have the Right to Search Your Car?
When it comes to your car, you have fewer rights than you do concerning your home. The police may have the right to search your car in some circumstances, but generally you are protected from any unreasonable search and seizure of your property. According to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, if an officer pulls you over he or she may be able to search your car without a warrant. This depends on whether or not the police can see evidence to pinpoint the need for a car search. Cars are technically considered private spaces, but the court is treated differently from your person and home and is subject to less protection.
The Supreme Court allows three different types of searches. The law enforcement can conduct a search incident to arrest, which is a search of the immediate vicinity of the driver inside the car. This is typically the search used when a police officer suspects that an individual was drinking and driving. Police also have the right to conduct an inventory search, which is when the police arrest the driver and impound the car. This can only happen when the police have the cause to arrest the individual already.
Also, police have the freedom to conduct a probably cause search. This is when the police have a reasonable suspicion that there are illegal items in the car, such as a weapon or drugs. If you have had your car searched, and you believe that the search was illegal, then you will want to talk with a Houston criminal defense attorney about the issue right away. At The Martinez Law Firm, a dedicated attorney may be able to help you with your case and assist you in getting the representation that you need. Hire a lawyer today to learn more!