Can a police officer search my vehicle without consent?

I was pulled over a couple weeks ago and was told that there was a light scent of marijuana coming from my

vehicle so the officer asked me to get out and placed me in the back of his squad car for my safety because he was bringing in a canine. After the dog not giving them any reason to say that there was anything in the vehicle they proceeded to search themselves and still found nothing. I feel that this maybe kind of violating my rights a little bit but not entirely sure.

Asked on January 4, 2019 under General Practice, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

IF the officer was not lying about the scent of marijuana, it was legal: police may search without consent or a warrant when there is evidence of a criminal act going on *at the moment* and awaiting consent or a warrant could allow evidence to be destroyed. So the issue is whether the officers were lying or whether the claim they smelled pot was just a pretext.


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