Can an officer follow you onto private property for a simple speeding violation and reach into your pocket in hopes of finding an illegal controlled substance?

This all happened without being detained. There were 3 people in the vehicle and the officer asked for all of our ID’s instead of license insurance and registration. He told me that I was doing 64 mph in a 55 mph zone so that was his reason for the stop, which took place on a farmer’s yard private property. Have they got a case for the possession of controlled substance or is this illegal search without reasonable cause?

Asked on September 12, 2015 under Criminal Law, Iowa


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You actually have two different issues....
The first is the detention.  If you committed a speeding violation, the office had the right to pursue you on the private property to effectuate the stop.  So... this part was not per se illegal by the officer.
Your second issue is the reach into your pockets.  The reach is considered a search of your person.  An officer must have either probable cause or consent in order to conduct a search.  If the officer didn't have probable cause or your consent, then anything he found in pockets could be suppressed and thrown out because of an illegal search. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.