is this a case of illegal search and seizure?

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is this a case of illegal search and seizure?

today i was at a liquor store buying alcohol even though i am underage. i purchased the alcohol and carried it out to my car in a black plastic bag. i placed it in my trunk and got in my car to leave. a cop blocks me in the driveway and comes up to my window. he orders, not asks, for me to open my trunk. when i do i am charged with possesion of alcohol by a minor. i thought it was illegal to search a trunk without some sort of warrent or probable cause. the cop did not see me purchase alcohol but may have knew that this certain store sells to kids

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution requires police to have a warrant before searching or seizing property.  However, the warrant requirement is not absolute -- it is subject to some exceptions.  One of those exceptions is consent.  Based upon the facts that you have provided, it appears as if you may have consented to the search, even if you did not feel that you had a choice.  Nevertheless, you should consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney to handle this matter for you if you feel that your rights may have been violated, especially considering the fact that pleading/being found guilty of this crime in Connecticut often results in a suspension of your driving privileges.


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