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

Answers:

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.


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