Losing Marijuana Defense – The Officer Didn't Have a Reason to Search, but I Consented
Hopefully you see the problem with this right there in the title. If you consented to the search, the officer doesn’t need a reason. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that because people aren’t taught about their rights these days.
The basic rule under the United States Constitution is that we are free from unreasonable search and seizures. That’s in the Fourth Amendment, but what does that mean? Basically, the officer can’t search your vehicle without having probable cause. However, the big exception is if you give them permission.
Think about it this way, if a stranger comes to your house to stay the night, they can’t just come in. You would be able to call the police. However, if you invite them inside, it changes the nature of the relationship, and they become a guest in your home.
The same situation happens with a search for marijuana. If the officer doesn’t have permission, he has to use his legal police power to search the vehicle and to do that he needs probable cause to search.
However, if you give the officer your permission to search he is now basically a guest in your vehicle. You have allowed him in to look for whatever he’s wanting and that changes the nature of the search.
Photo by: drewgstephens