What constitutes a legal search of a vehicle?

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What constitutes a legal search of a vehicle?

My daughter (21 years old) parked my car on a county roadway at 3 pm at night. It was at a party that the police then raided because minors were drinking and people were fighting. My daughter had left the party way before the police arrived. There were no arrests made but they towed my car because they could not get a hold of the driver. The reason they towed it was because they said it was impeding traffic. They then did a (inventory search) but when asked for it they said that it does not contain a detail of all items. They also remove alcohol from the trunk of the car and said it was normal because it was parked at a scene where minors were drinking. I have is this legal search and is it legal as far as removing the alcohol.

Asked on June 18, 2014 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, if the police tow and impound your car then they have a right to search the vehicle.  This is a warrantless search and the police are given more leeway under the Fourth Amendment in the case of a car (rather than a home).  I would speak with an attorney in your area.  Good luck.


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