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

Answers:

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. 


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