When does an officer grounds to search your belongings?

I was at my friends house sitting by the fire with no alcohol in my system I all of the sudden passed out I believe due to dehydration. My friends called for an ambulance and rendezvoused with the ambulance at a gas station. I was awake and coherent when we got there but I still had to go to the hospital because I am a minor. The cops were also there. They had watched my friends carrying a bag to the dumpster and had asked whose it was; it quickly identified the bag as mine. The officer came to the ambulance and asked if he could look around in my bag; I did not see the relevance to the situation at hand so I did not give consent however he searched anyway. He found a half ounce of weed and leave trimmings. Is this legitimate evidence?

Asked on September 24, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country when law enforcement responds to an emergency situation where a person such as you "passed out" and medical assiatnce may be needed, law enforcement is entitled under "exigent circumstances" to make a search of all items near the victim to assist in ascertaining the cause of the situation and in possibly giving aid.

The finding of a controlled substance in your bag seems to have been an allowed search of your belongings under the laws of all states based upon what you have written.

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