Should it be legal for police to search automobiles without a warrant?
My answer is 'Yes.' If you get pulled over for any reason how could the police get a warrant quickly. If they suspected you of having something in the car which shouldn't be there (something illegal) they'd have to impound the car, hold it until they got that warrant, then search the car. What would you be doing in the meantime?
No and yes. No they should not be able to search a vehicle unless they are already arresting you for something else. If they are simply pulling you over for speeding they should not be allowed to search.
The whole probable cause clause is ridiculous. When I was with my first husband, we were pulled over for a tail light being out. The officer claimed he smelled marijuana coming from our car. Neither of us had been doing drugs, but since my ex husband had a prior YEARS before that they pulled us both out and dumped all the contents of our car on the side of the road. When they found nothing they actually left all the trunk contents on the side of the road for us to clean up. They simply made up probable cause. THAT is the problem. They can simply fabricate reasons and as long as they come up with something no one questions their probable cause.
The loopholes that police officers use to violate the constitutional rights of the people are the problem.
You're probably right Annsalo. You are writing about US Law and I'm here in Aussie-land. Our traffic laws vary from state to state, so I have not the foggiest about what applies in most states here, let alone the US. Sorry.
I'm fond of you Aussies! US police are proving though, less and less reliable. I know nothing about Aussie government, but I'd bet it is probably better than ours.
It is not legal per the Fourth Amendment.
The public good principle was abused to say we can check you for drunk driving regardless of your right not to be searched.
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