Can the police break into a locked car to search it

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Can the police break into a locked car to search it

The cop allowed my friend to release the keys to the
car to me then wouldn’t let me move it but the car is
locked and I am not there anymore

Asked on November 8, 2016 under Criminal Law, Montana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can "break in" if--
1) They have a warrant to do so;
2) There is criminal evidence or paraphenalia in plain view which needs to be secured, such as a gun or drugs;
3) They have reason to believe a person or animal may be locked in a trunk, etc. and need to be released; 
4) There is some other threat requiring them to get into the vehicle for safety reasons--e.g. some smoke is coming out from the hood or A/C vents.


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