Nebraska Criminal & Trial Lawyers
Can a Routine Traffic Stop Lead to a Search?

Can a Routine Traffic Stop Lead to a Search?

Nebraskan residents like you understand that routine traffic stops can occur for a number of reasons, such as having expired stickers, not displaying your license plate properly, and so on. But did you know that police can turn a routine traffic stop into a search?

Routine traffic stops aren't reason enough to search your car, of course. However, FindLaw states that if police have probable reason to suspect that you are carrying drugs in the vehicle, they can conduct a search even without a warrant. So what exactly is "probable reason"?

It can differ from situation to situation and even seemingly clear-cut situations may not be a nail in your coffin in court. However, some examples of probable reason for an officer to search your car may include:

  • Visible drugs
  • Drug paraphernalia out in the open
  • The scent of marijuana
  • If you give them consent to search
  • Suspiciously excessive amounts of visible money

Some of these things seem like they could immediately condemn a person, such as actual drugs, drug-related paraphernalia, or supposed conversations between you and apparent customers or sellers that may indicate you were intending to buy or sell drugs.

Of course, in a court case, any evidence found in your vehicle is only considered eligible if the search and seizure were conducted properly. It's possible to argue against supposed evidence found within it, especially if your car search did not follow proper protocol. You may wish to consider speaking to an experienced attorney about defending your rights in court.

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