Police brutality can arise from a number of different situations. One in particular is when a person is pulled over by a cop and they attempt to conduct a search of your vehicle. If you refuse these advances to do so, you might be hindering an officer from an investigation he might have the right to do. But when is an officer permitted to conduct a vehicle search and when are they not? This is very important as your rights could have been violated if your car was searched without the proper permission to do so. This could be viewed as a form of harassment especially if the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over.
And in the event this has happened or another form of police brutality has occurred, take the time now to speak with one of our Virginia police brutality lawyers. They can explain what can be done to combat this mistreatment and how they will help you do it.
When Do Police Need a Warrant to Search my Vehicle?
In most cases, a police officer is required to secure a warrant to search your car, but according to Business Insider, there are a few times when they don’t actually need a warrant. Officers of the law can search your vehicle without a warrant if:
- You give them consent to do so. In most cases, you probably feel obligated to say yes because saying no to an officer might have you facing a charge for something you actually didn’t do.
- When something is in “plain view.” For instance, if the officer looks in the window without having to search hard and notices a small bag of marijuana, that would be a reason for the officer to have search your vehicle now because you are in possession of an illegal substance, but it was in “plain view.”
- You are pulled over and arrested. In some instances, the officer may be permitted to search your vehicle after this occurs.
- If the officer believes a crime has been committed. An example provided is if an officer pulls you over and you have a black eye, blood on your seat, and a ripped up purse. While each individual thing isn’t a crime, all of them together may leave an officer suspicious and feel the need to search your vehicle.
- When there are “exigent circumstances.” If a police officer thinks evidence is about to be destroyed, it gives them the right to break every rule to avoid losing the proof you were doing something wrong. Obviously, they shouldn’t be applying excessive force, however, this does occur and is commonly viewed as police brutality.
The media has done a great job at displaying just how often police brutality occurs, yet, it also tells us that many of the officers who commit the crime aren’t punished for doing so. If you are a victim to police abuse or misconduct, it is time you bring your claims forward to one of our skilled and trustworthy police brutality lawyers in Virginia and allow them to represent your case.