As a passenger in a traffic stop was I searched illegally?

My friend was pulled over for
expired tags. She was not
searched or even ticketed. I
was searched and arrested
because they found drugs

Asked on May 5, 2017 under Criminal Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You could be legally searched if there was some evidence suggested that you were engaged in a crime or had criminal contraband on you, and that if not searched then, the evidence/contraband might disappear; that urgency or "exigency" could justify a warrantless search. So if there was a small of marijuana from you, or the officer saw on you what looked like drug paraphrenalia or an illegal weapon or drug residue, or you were obviously high, or your friend said anything that suggested you had drugs, that could be enough to justify the search.

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