If a police officer claims that I was evading arrest does that give them the right to search me without consent?

I was pulled over because the arresting officer claimed that I accelerated to quickly through the green light after it being red. I pulled over into the first lot up parking lot that felt safe and the officer then approached me and told me to take my hands off the vehicle and immediately put me in handcuffs. He then approached my motorcycle and began to search through my belongings as well as my motorcycle. The officer never explained to me what I was being pulled over for nor did he have my permission/consent to search any of my property or my motor cycle. The officer was not able to find anything on my bike, so then he proceeded to take off one hand cuff and began to search through my back pack and that’s when he found the illegal pills. Does the officer have the right to search my vehicle or me without consent if he claims that I was evading arrest?

Asked on September 10, 2018 under Criminal Law, Texas


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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A search incident to a lawful arrest is legal; there is no need for consent (or a warrant). The reasoning is that if a suspect has a weapon, then that can put an officer's life in jepoardy. It also has to do with preventing the destruction of possible evidence. 

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you are arrested, you can be searched by the police without consent or a warrant.  This is a search incident to an arrest.  The purpose of the search incident to an arrest is to protect the officer in case of a weapon and also to prevent destruction of any contraband or other evidence.

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