Learn when police may search cars, what rights you have to avoid a car search, and more.
Car Searches by Police Following a Valid Stop
Lots of factors that come into play with search-and-seizure law.
Searches After Traffic Stops: Not Always Allowed
A traffic stop normally ends with a citation—the annoyed motorist simply drives away. But an officer will sometime prolong a traffic detention, in the process searching the driver’s vehicle.
Searching Passengers and Their Belongings
If police lawful stop a car, are they allowed to search passengers and their belongings? As with many legal questions, the answer depends.
Police Searches of Impounded Cars
Police officers can impound your car for a variety of reasons.
Can an officer pull you over for no reason?
An officer’s pulling over a driver constitutes a detention—the driver hasn’t been arrested, but nevertheless isn’t free to leave.
Can the Police Use a Dog to Sniff a Car for Drugs Without a Warrant?
The Supreme Court says a K-9 sniff during a roadside detention is okay—unless it unreasonably prolongs the stop.
Are the rules for car searches different when the search is near a U.S. border?
Special rules for police searches apply near the borders.