Can police search your purse even if you haven’t been arrested

If you’re pulled over for a busted
taillight and then they claim they smell
weed are the police allowed to search
your purse?

Asked on June 12, 2016 under Criminal Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The police had probable cause to search the vehicle and its contents including your purse because they smelled marijuana.
The police can search a vehicle without a warrant when there is probable cause ( a reasonable belief that criminal activity is afoot) because by the time they go and get a warrant and return, the vehicle will be gone.


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