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Can an officer always search my vehicle?

If you are facing drug charges, then you may be tempted to panic. While it is true that drug charges can be very serious and carry heavy penalties for non-violent crimes, there are many ways that a skilled attorney can use the law in your favor to fight the charges. Instead of panicking and possibly making a poor decision, it is wise to consult with a legal professional to understand the nuances of your situation and how you should go about fighting the charges. One useful defense to drug charges is identifying ways that the officer who charged you with the crime may have broken protocol or violated your rights in the process.

Often, when an officer stops a car or shuts down a party, he or she may find drugs in the vehicle or on the premises where the party is occurring. This usually leads to possession charges, which may feel like an open-and-shut case. However, it may not be at all.

If you were pulled over and the officer searched your vehicle without your consent, the officer must have first had your permission, probable cause to do so or a search warrant for your specific vehicle. Many members of law enforcement will fudge the rules of probable cause, sometimes deceitfully claiming they have the right to search a space when they do not actually have that right.

Each case is different, and the details all matter. If you are facing drug charges, do not hesitate to seek out the guidance of an attorney with years of experience defending the rights of drug charge defendants. Proper legal guidance can help you explore all of your legal options both in and out of the courtroom, ensuring that your rights remain protected and that your future is safe from drug convictions that might follow you for years or end in jail time.

Source: Findlaw, "Drug Possession Defenses," accessed March 16, 2017

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