Was my search for a traffic stop lawful?

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Was my search for a traffic stop lawful?

I was riding in the passenger seat with my friend who got pulled over for speeding. Immediately I was asked to step out of the car and was detained while they searched. I was heading to sleepover at a friend’s and they

searched my overnight bag and charged me with 3 misdemeanors. The cop said that he searched because he recognized my friend the driver from a while before when he found a pipe in his car and let him go. Does this give them the right to search his car and the right to search my property my bag despite my being

unrelated to the previous stop?

Asked on January 20, 2019 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, based on what you write, the search appears that it may be illegal. First, even if they recognized your friend from a prior drug case, that does not give them the right to search him again without either a warrant or without some immediate "exigency" or urgent situation, such as some reason to reasonably believe they need to search him to protect themselves from attack, save another person, or protect about-to-be-destroyed evidence. Being charged once is NOT a loss of your right to protection from unreasonable searches.
Second, even if they could search him, that does not extend to searching you barring the same factors as above (e.g. a warrant or some exigent circumstances).
Based on what you write, there appears to be a reasonable chance an attorney could get the search of you and any evidence from it thrown out.


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