can a police office search my purse without me witnessing it and after my right were not read to me?

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can a police office search my purse without me witnessing it and after my right were not read to me?

i was at a hotel with beer and pot. the [plice cme in and said everyone sit still . Then the only thing i was told at the time of arrest was you get up and turn around. No one that was arrestted was read their right. Also i heard the officers talking about how they were out of prewritten tickets. All of my tickets have two different hand writeing and ink.

Asked on May 2, 2009 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The police only need to read you your rights if they want to ask you questions.  It has nothing to do with a search, or being arrested.

If the police found pot, the hotel room became a crime scene, and the police have a fair amount of leeway to search for weapons and illegal items that could either be dangerous to the police there and then, or which could be easily carried away from the scene before they could get a warrant.

The police still need to have had a reason to come into the hotel room in the first place.

Search and seizure law seems to be constantly changing, and the answers to the simple question, "Can the cops do that?" are almost never simple.  If the police found something in your purse that they want to use against you, you might be able to prevent that, but you will almost certainly need an attorney's help.  If you need to find a lawyer, you can do that at http://attorneypages.com


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