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  1. #1
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    Aug 2010
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    Default Can Your Car Be Searched After a DUI

    I was pulled over for a traffic violation and the cop had me do a field test for a dui. After the test he told me to call someone for a ride home. While still making the call for a ride he began to search my car. He found drug paraphernalia within the center console and that's when i was placed under arrest for a dui. Is that an illegal search of my car since i was never put under arrest till after the search?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: DUI Leads to Pehaps a Illegal Search

    Even if not under arrest, the so called "automobile exception" to a warrantless search permits an officer to search the passenger compartment and many times the trunk, IF he has probable cause to believe the car contains contraband.

    IF he noticed such in plain view, meaning within sight without having to move anything or exert a view, he is authorzied to search then.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: DUI Leads to Pehaps a Illegal Search

    Did he tell you he was not going to cite you for DUI during the conversation at all? Most likely, he was going to and let you go with a ride...and impound your car. Many departments have a policy to "inventory" any vehicles beign impounded to protect themselves from liability should the owner claim anything is missing. And oh yeah...gives them a great excuse to search your car. I believe there have been a few cases where this was declared a no-no but I couldn't cite anything at the moment. Although since a ticket is technically an arrest, he could also argue search incident to arrest.

    What it boils down to is the officer was going to cut you a break, most likely just issue you a citation, until he found paraphrenalia....at that point he was no longer inclined to give you a break. Were you charged with the paraphreanalia as well?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: DUI Leads to Pehaps a Illegal Search

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    Although since a ticket is technically an arrest, he could also argue search incident to arrest.

    There is NO search "incident to citation" permitted, see Knowles v. Iowa.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: DUI Leads to Pehaps a Illegal Search

    Quote Quoting BOR
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    There is NO search "incident to citation" permitted, see Knowles v. Iowa.
    That being the case then the search ain't kosher unless he was going to impound the vehicle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can Your Car Be Searched After a DUI

    Quote Quoting Kelphire
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    I was pulled over for a traffic violation and the cop had me do a field test for a dui. After the test he told me to call someone for a ride home. While still making the call for a ride he began to search my car. He found drug paraphernalia within the center console and that's when i was placed under arrest for a dui. Is that an illegal search of my car since i was never put under arrest till after the search?
    That depends on why he searched your car. I can think of scenarios on both sides of the issue.

    Your attorney can make a motion to suppress the evidence and thus force the state to make a valid argument for good cause for the search. There may or may not be such cause.
    **********
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