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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Savannah, Georgia
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    Default Can the Police Open the Door of Your Car Without a Reason

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Georgia

    I have a friend that was sitting on private property in her car getting ready to go upstairs to another friends house when a police officer walked up and opened the car door for no reason. He then stated that the property had a lot of car burglaries, but she never saw a police car until she was arrested after they searched her car and found some pot and pipes that she had brought back from her fathers house after he died they were in a locked suitcase. they used the excuse that they smelled pot coming from the car to search it, but she told them she wasn't smoking pot. Someone else has told me the town she was arrested frequently makes mistakes and they use things that are going on in that area to cover there butt's.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Can Police Open Your Car Door on Private Property for No Reason at the Time

    Quote Quoting Savgaeyesx
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    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Georgia

    I have a friend that was sitting on private property in her car getting ready to go upstairs to another friends house when a police officer walked up and opened the car door for no reason.
    First off, all because your friend says she does not know why the officer opened the door does not mean that there was no reason.

    He then stated that the property had a lot of car burglaries, but she never saw a police car until she was arrested after they searched her car and found some pot and pipes that she had brought back from her fathers house after he died they were in a locked suitcase. they used the excuse that they smelled pot coming from the car to search it, but she told them she wasn't smoking pot. Someone else has told me the town she was arrested frequently makes mistakes and they use things that are going on in that area to cover there butt's.
    Your friend will have the opportunity to mount a defense in court. her attorney can review the reports and make any applicable motions to suppress evidence and challenge the search if they feel this is an effective strategy. We are in no position to determine if the search was valid or not as we do not know all the facts.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,191

    Default Re: Can Police Open Your Car Door on Private Property for No Reason at the Time

    Let's clear something up first as clearly the facts are in dispute.

    According to your story, the police state they smelled marijuana coming from the car, which would provide probable cause for a search. This claim was substantiated by there being marijuana and paraphernalia for smoking it in the car. Yet, you state there was no reason for searching the car.

    Can you explain this conflict?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Can Police Open Your Car Door on Private Property for No Reason at the Time

    Yeah, that darn marijuana and it's pungent aroma! Gets people every time!
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can the Police Open the Door of Your Car Without a Reason

    Quote Quoting Savgaeyesx
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    ...when a police officer walked up and opened the car door for no reason. He then stated that the property had a lot of car burglaries....
    That would seem to be the reason. He saw somebody in a car in an area that was plagued with car burglaries, and was investigating to determine if your friend was burglarizing a car.
    Quote Quoting Savgaeyesx
    ...but she never saw a police car until she was arrested after they searched her car....
    At some point in time she must have realized that there was a police officer outside of her car, investigating her actions. It is difficult to believe that she did not notice the officer who was investigating her car until he opened the car door, unless she was stoned or asleep; she can discuss the facts as she remembers them, and as outlined in the officer's incident report, with her lawyer. There is no requirement that she be able to see the officer's cruiser in order for the officer to be able to investigate her actions.
    Quote Quoting Savgaeyesx
    ...they were in a locked suitcase.
    How did the officer come to be looking in the suitcase? Was this based upon a claim of probable cause based upon the odor of marijuana, or did your friend consent to the search? Did she provide the key?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    312

    Default Re: Can the Police Open the Door of Your Car Without a Reason

    This is the issue with people coming to these forums, asking legal questions regarding someone else's problem. It sounds like there are details missing. The cop clearly smelled marijuana, because there was marijuana in the car. The cop approached the car because of recent burglaries. I'm not sure how much more simple that could get. So it sounds like there's something missing here, to miss these extremely obvious answers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,191

    Default Re: Can the Police Open the Door of Your Car Without a Reason

    One has to remember the basic defenses offered by people who are caught violating the law:

    1. The police took action against them for no reason.

    2. They criminal didn't do anything wrong.

    or wait, I forgot the biggest one, the officer wasn't wearing his hat, so everything has to be dismissed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Savannah, Georgia
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    2

    Default Re: Can Police Open Your Car Door on Private Property for No Reason at the Time

    She was not smoking when they opened the car door on her. As stated previously she was getting some stuff together to go up to her friends apartment when they walked up on her and opened the door.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,600

    Default Re: Can Police Open Your Car Door on Private Property for No Reason at the Time

    Quote Quoting Savgaeyesx
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    She was not smoking when they opened the car door on her.
    It doesn't matter if she was smoking at that particular point in time or not. The stench of marijuana lingers for a VERY long time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Somewhere out there....
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    168

    Default Re: Can Police Open Your Car Door on Private Property for No Reason at the Time

    Is it possible that her idean of "no reason" and the police's idea of a reason are two different things?

    Quote Quoting L-1
    View Post
    One has to remember the basic defenses offered by people who are caught violating the law:

    1. The police took action against them for no reason.

    2. They criminal didn't do anything wrong.

    or wait, I forgot the biggest one, the officer wasn't wearing his hat, so everything has to be dismissed.
    I watch Law and Order! I KNOW my rights! You can't do this to me! I didn't do nuthin'! You got nothin' on me!

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