If my passenger admits to having weed on him, does that give the officer the right to search my vehicle?

Asked on April 2, 2018 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Absent consent, an officer needs "probable cause" to legally search a vehicle. Probable cause means police must have some facts or evidence to believe there is criminal activity.In other words, a hunch without evidence of illegal activity is not enough to legally search your car. However, the sight or smell of contraband in plain view or plain smell or an admission of guilt for a specific crime is enough. Also, a search is legal if there has been an arrest and the search is related to that arrest (such as a search for illegal drugs).

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Absent consent, an officer needs "probable cause" to legally search a vehicle. Probable cause means police must have some facts or evidence to believe there is criminal activity.In other words, a hunch without evidence of illegal activity is not enough to legally search your car. However, the sight or smell of contraband in plain view or plain smell or an admission of guilt for a specific crime is enough. Also, a search is legal if there has been an arrest and the search is related to that arrest (such as a search for illegal drugs).


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