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St Louis Criminal Defense: If I Am Pulled Over, Do I Have To Allow The Police To Search My Car?



No, you do not have to allow the police officer to search your vehicle. There are only certain circumstances under which an officer of the law may search your car (and a couple of those scenarios are discussed below). But as a general rule, just because a cop wants to search the car, it doesn’t mean you have to give him/her permission to do so.

Having said all of that, many police officers will makes it seem as if you have no choice but to allow the vehicle to be searched. Many times the officer will simply say something like, “I want to search your car,” or “I’m going to search your vehicle.” And when an officer makes such a straightforward statement, it can easily appear as if you have no other option than to sit there and watch him/her do it. But that’s simply not the case.

Or sometimes, a police officer (during a routine traffic stop) will engage you in friendly conversation, and then once a rapport has been built, he/she will kindly ask if they may search your vehicle. A lot of people at this point will still believe that they have no other choice than to say yes. They don’t know what their rights are, and they allow the cop to invade their privacy.

Of course, if you allow the officer to search your vehicle, it is difficult to then argue that the one-hitter he found as a result of the search should be thrown out in court. It makes it much more difficult to mount a defense when you have given your assent to find the damaging evidence in your car.


But keep in mind that a cop may only search your car is if he/she can 1) articulate a either a reasonable suspicion about criminal activity taking place, or 2) can state a probable cause as to why he/she believes that the vehicle itself contains some illegal element (like an unlawful substance or weapon), or 3) has secured a warrant for that purpose, or 4) can later on convince a judge that the circumstances presented an emergency situation in which the officer had no choice but to search the vehicle (for the safety of those involved and the for the preservation of evidence to found therein).

The affordable St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at The Bankruptcy Company, have been helping people with their misdemeanor charges for over ten (10) years. Our goal is to make sure that the charges leveled against you do not stay on your permanent record, and do any lasting damage. And we want to do all of this at an affordable price. The fees for a typical misdemeanor case start at $375. But the initial consultation to discuss your legal issues is free of charge. So contact us today!!

We have one location by appointment only: 4625 Lindell Blvd St. Louis, MO 63108. The initial consultation is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!

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