Police asked to search car do I have to let them?Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, If I was pulled over for a traffic stop and the police officer searched my car. Did I have the right say no? I wasnt doing anything wrong, but I felt like I didnt have a choice. United States citizens seem to be more and more willing to forfeit their personal rights at the whims of the state and federal governments. Regardless of whether or not you have done anything wrong, under the United State constitution, you are protected from unlawful searches and seizures. This includes unlawful searches of your person, home, and car. Its important to note, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court, while still recognizing your right to unlawful searches, has decided that your car may not have as many protections as your home. Although laws can change, right now, car searches are allowed under the following conditions without a search warrant:
- If the driver is arrested and the police are taking an inventory of the car after impoundment
- The police may search certain areas of the car where the driver could reach if the driver is unsecured and could potentially reach for a weapon
- If the police have probable cause to search the car or pat down the driver.