Does an officer have to ask the owner of a vehicle in order to search it?

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Does an officer have to ask the owner of a vehicle in order to search it?

friend was pulled over in my vehicle it was searched and I was never called and asked if it could. The person driving did consent but it is not there property. There was marijuana found in the vehicle and the person driving had no drivers license.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think that you may find this link helpful:

Hope this helps.

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you are facing criminal charges as a result of this search, you need to have a qualified attorney defending you.  One place to look for counsel is our website,

It's not ordinarily a good idea at all, to let someone without a valid drivers license drive your car.  If they get in an accident, you can be liable, and your insurance might not cover this.

Search and seizure law is a very tricky subject, there are changes every year and it is not the same in every state.  Factual details that you might not think were important can sometimes completely change the result.  When you talk to your lawyer, don't leave anything out, let her or him decide what is and what isn't important -- that's part of what you'll be paying for.

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