Being pulled over is unsettling for anyone, especially when you are told they’re going to search your vehicle. Even if you have nothing to hide, the officer is not allowed to do that, and you are allowed to tell them so. Many officers will act like they have the right to search your vehicle, but they legally cannot do that without your consent or a legitimate warrant. A legitimate warrant is one that is obtained from a judge by a specific officer. For a warrant, the police officer must establish with the judge that they have a probable cause to search your property. Only with this warrant do they have permission. The warrant must state the premises of the search, what initiated the search (their probable cause), and who the search is against. Once again, the search must be done by the officer who requested the warrant. Also the search must be completed and the warrant has to be returned to the judge ten days after the document has been issued.
Some officers will try to use intimidation tactics to try to influence your consent. If the officer does this be sure to tell your attorney, any evidence obtained through aggressive measures may be dismissed in the courtroom. Also if the officer decided to search your car after you told them they are not allowed, make sure you tell your attorney because that evidence may also be excluded from the trial. To put it quite simply, do not consent to a search.
If you or a family member have been charged with a crime in the state of Maryland and would like a free consultation, or if you would like more information on search and seizure please feel free to contact our office at (410) 995-1515 and schedule an appointment at one of our various Maryland locations, or visit our webpage at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Maryland-Criminal-Defense/