Can Cops Search Your Trunk During a Traffic Stop in Arizona?

A lot of people think that police officers engage in unlawful search and seizures all the time. When they come in to meet with their Arizona defense lawyer, they complain that their 4th Amendment rights had been violated. What they don’t realize is that it is really difficult to prove that the officers didn’t have probable cause. If, however, you truly do believe the search was not lawful, let your Arizona defense lawyer know. They can meet with the prosecutor and try to get the evidence thrown out. Worst case, they can use this as leverage in order to get the charges reduced or dismissed.

The best thing to do is to call our office and set up a time to come into the office. Sit down with one of our experienced Arizona defense lawyers. They’ll review your case and ask questions about what happened. Make sure you’re upfront and honest. Give your Arizona defense lawyer the best chance to get your charges dismissed.

Cops Must Have Probable Cause to Search Inside the Car

The police can’t just go around searching people’s personal property. In order to have permission to search your vehicle, one of the following must have happened:

  • You consented to the search
  • The cops see drugs or other paraphernalia in plain view inside the car
  • They have probable cause that you committed a crime
  • You threaten the officers or attempt to grab for a weapon in the car

In any of these situations, the judge would likely admit any evidence found during the search. Your Arizona defense lawyer would have to prove that the officers didn’t have probable cause. It’s not as hard as you may think to get around this requirement. For example, if your car matches the description of the car an armed robber had, the cops will have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Once they’ve pulled you over, they wouldn’t have to prove much to justify probable cause.

One of the caveats about a vehicle search is that they can only look in places suspected evidence would be. For example, if you’re a suspect in a crime, the cops can search places where the missing evidence may be.

There Could Be Evidence in Plain View

One of the biggest mistakes is that some defendants don’t take the matter seriously enough. If you have beer bottles or marijuana out in plain view in your car, the cops are going to take it. For example, if you get pulled over and have anything that can be linked to a crime, the cops will go to work searching your vehicle. They just have to be reasonable. If the officers receive a call that someone robbed the local Walmart, they will ask for a description of the car or suspect. If it’s a match, the officers will have a right to search your vehicle for evidence related to the car.

Did You Give Consent to Search Your Vehicle?

Another way the cops can earn the right to search your car is if you give consent. When the police ask if they can search your car, your biggest fear is that they’ll find dirty fast-food wrappers in the back. You had no idea they would find evidence of wrongdoing. Once they do, you can bet they’ll continue to search until the can find more evidence.

Call an Experienced Arizona Defense Lawyer Right Away

If you feel your 4th Amendment rights have been violated, you can certainly pursue the matter, Call and talk to an experienced Arizona defense lawyer right away.