Can a police officer search you without probable cause?

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Can a police officer search you without probable cause?

My 18 year old son was searched by a cop after being stopped for riding his bike through town after midnight. Since he was 18 the cop said he ran his name and priors came up so he was going to search him. He had a deferred prosecution on possession of paraphernalia when he was 17. That should not have come up on his record. Was the search legal? The cop did find THC on him, so he was arrested. Would this be considered his first offense, since the prior offense he was a minor and it was deferred What constitutes probable cause? How does a deferment as a minor affect your case as an adult?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A police officer can stop and search a person without proable cause. However, when the court determines there was no probable cause for the stop and search, all evidence is supressed resulting from the illegal stop and not allowed to come into evidence.

Probable cause means that the facts and circumstances of the events observed would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime occurred.

I am not in position to determine of the search of your son was legal based upon what you have written. That will be decided by the judge hearing the case.

If the deferment has expired concerning your son, then he would not have a prior incident to be reviewed as a minor. However, if it is not expired, the prior offense as a minor could be considered with respect to the current charge against him. I suggest that your son consult with a criminal defense attorney as to the situation he has managed to get himself into.


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