Car Search

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by thebugman, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. thebugman

    thebugman New Member

    I saw it mentioned earlier that when an officer asks to search your vehicle the response should be "No officer, am I free to go?" What constitutes "probable cause"? If he has a Dog, and the dog reacts to something, do they then have probable cause, or do they still have to get a warrant before searching your car?
  2. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

    Sorry, I missed your post.

    Someone may correct me on some of this but... a drug sniffing dog can be employed to search the outside of the car and if it alerts to drugs, it is probable cause to search the entire vehicle.

    From their it gets even more if-y.
    If the traffic cop wants a dog to search your car, the dog is supposed to be employed within the amount of time it takes the traffic cop to do the paperwork (5-10 minutes).

    Anyway, probable cause is basically a LEO swearing to a magistrate judge that evidence X was gathered that shows that contraband Y will be found when Z is searched. X, Y, and Z are specific and make up the scope of a warrant or (minus the judge) a warrrantless search.

    Here is a page better at explaining it..

  3. legacy38

    legacy38 Well-Known Member

    Probable Cause is defined as the facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that crime has been or is being committed by the suspected person.

    While the 4th Amendment protections apply to your vehicle, the Carroll doctrine allows for the search of a vehicle without a warrant if the officer has PC. An officer may detain a vehicle for a reasonable amount of time for a canine to arrive to do a free air sniff around a vehicle IF the officer has a "reasonable articulable suspicion" that the vehicle has drugs hidden within it.

    Your refusal to grant consent to search can not be used as a basis for PC or RAS. Don't let an officer push you into consent be threatening to get a warrant if you don't consent. Put it back on the officer and make them get the warrant.

    NEVER agree to a consent to search. Force the officer to justify everything he or she does in court. Don't be pushed into anything. Don't use the old "I have nothing to hide; so, I don't mind a search".

    Simply and politely deny consent and ask if you are free to leave. That puts everything on the officer.