Can the Police Search My Car Without a Warrant?

Yes, normally police need a valid search warrant to search your vehicle unless one of the following circumstances applies:


  • You have given your consent to a search of your vehicle;
  • The police have “probable cause” to believe the car contains contraband or evidence of a crime;
  • The police are lawfully arresting an occupant of the car and either the arrestee is within reaching distance of the interior of the car, or it is reasonable to believe the car contains evidence about the crime for which s/he is being arrested;
  • The police are temporarily detaining an occupant of the car (as part of a  "stop-and-frisk"), and reasonably believe that s/he may be dangerous and have access to weapons stored in the car; and
  • The car has been lawfully impounded by law enforcement and they are conducting an “inventory search."
comments powered by Disqus