Can a police officer pull you over if you are driving in a parking lot and he said he could smell weed?

I was commiting no traffic violations at the time and it was a busy parking lot. I feel like he pulled me over just because I was the most recent person to enter the lot.

Asked on March 1, 2015 under Criminal Law, Virginia


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the police officer smelled weed, that gave him probable cause (a reasonable belief that criminal activity is afoot) to pull you over.

No search warrant is required for an auto search because by the time the police officer obtained a warrant and returned, your vehicle may have been driven away and any contraband may have been destroyed.

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