Pulled over for tinted windows in Idaho on a road trip to Montana for Summer work, and cop put me in handcuffs to search my car.

I’m a 27 year old **** male, my bf and I were on our way from OK to Montana for summer work. We were hours away from our destination, crossing Idaho, when a state trooper pulled me over. I wasnt speeding, or swirving, I was pulled over for tinted windows! When he got to the window, my bf was asleep, head on my shoulder, n the trooper looked disgusted and treated me poorly, said he smelled pot and placed me under arrest, while he searched the vehicle. He did find a Bong that was CLEAN that was a gift from 8 years ago, a pinch of pot in btwn the seats. I’m being charged for both. Is this legal?

Asked on June 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, Montana


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should get a skilled criminal defense attorney to review the police report to see if the evidence of the bong and the drugs can be suppressed.  The general rule is that the police need a warrant to conduct a search, but there are certain exceptions to that rule, especially in the context of motor vehicle stops.  From the facts that you have provided, there was probably probable cause to pull you over for the tinted windows.  The issue becomes more complicated once you are put in handcuffs and the cop searches your car.  For example, if you gave your consent to search, then everything that the cop found was legally obtained.  If not, it is possible that the search fell into one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement, yet it would be impossible to determine without looking at the police report.  I recommend that you consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney to determine whether some or all of the evidence may be subject to suppression.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.