Can a search of a vehicle be conducted if it did not belong to the homeowner who gave consent and without the permission of the owner of the vehicle?

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Can a search of a vehicle be conducted if it did not belong to the homeowner who gave consent and without the permission of the owner of the vehicle?

The vehicle was in the driveway.

Asked on July 23, 2013 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An auto can be searched by the police without consent if the  police have probable cause (a reasonable belief that criminal activity is afoot). 

Auto searches don't require a search warrant because by the time the police obtain a warrant and return, the auto or any contraband it contains may be gone.

If the vehicle is impounded, the police can do an inventory search without a warrant to compile a list of the personal property contained in the vehicle.


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