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Can Police Search My Car During a Traffic Stop?

 Posted on May 25, 2024 in Criminal Law

TX defense lawyerPolice who suspect someone of possessing illegal drugs are not free to simply search for the evidence they need whenever they want to. They need a search warrant to do so, which needs to be approved by a judge, and for that to happen they first need to demonstrate that they have probable cause. However, there are some exceptions, and your car might be legally searched at a traffic stop depending on the circumstances. Many people are not aware of that and might have what could be considered evidence against them in their car, not realizing it could be searched. If your car was searched during a traffic stop and the police found sufficient evidence to arrest you, speak with a passionate Texas criminal defense lawyer about getting the evidence suppressed.

Probable Cause Vs. Reasonable Suspicion

Before they can search you, your home, or your property, the police need to demonstrate that they have probable cause to suspect that a crime was committed or was going to be committed. Certain extenuating circumstances might provide an exception. If the police suspect you of possessing illegal drugs, they can claim concern that any evidence against you would be destroyed, removed, hidden, or otherwise disappear if you are driving a car and they cannot immediately search it. That means that if the police claim probable cause, they can search your car and your trunk without needing a search warrant.

If they do not have enough to be considered probable cause, you might still be subjected to a search. As a lower standard, the police can still claim reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed. In that case, they can carry out a limited search in the area around you. If you are driving when they stop you, this means they can search the part of your car near where you are sitting and everything within your physical reach, but they cannot use reasonable suspicion to search your trunk.

The good news is that you might be able to show that the police lacked sufficient grounds to search you. If they did, any evidence they could use against you might get thrown out. This is when it becomes crucial to have a passionate and hard-working lawyer on your side making sure every angel is used to defend you.

Contact a Tarrant County, TX Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

If a police search produced evidence that was used to arrest you on drug charges, contact Law Office of Michelle Poblenz, where our clients get personalized care regardless of the charge. As a former prosecutor, our experienced Dallas, TX criminal defense attorney knows how the other side will try to argue this case and can build a strong defense to get you the best outcome. Call 469-845-3031 to find out more.

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