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What is the Motor Vehicle Exception?

The automobile, or motor vehicle exception allows officers to search cars for evidence, contraband, and fruits or instrumentalities of crimes without a search warrant. When you ask cops, “What does it take to search these cars?” Many of them will just say, “Probable cause.”  Well, let’s be technical, Technically, legally, there are four factors to […]

Searching Passengers for Marijuana

Today we are going to answer a question that a lot of you have on your mind.  Can you search a vehicle’s passenger for marijuana? And the answer is: probably.  However, I have to go into some legal reasoning here because the answer is really not that clear.  There are two key cases I want […]

Traffic Stop Searches with Consent

Here’s a question from Texas. The officer says, If I get consent to search a vehicle, does the traffic stop have to end before I can search?  And the answer is”No.” Consent includes with it the agreement to extend the traffic stop.  Does that make sense?  We know that when it comes to traffic stops, […]

Consent from Intoxicated Vehicle Owner

This question comes from an officer in the great state of Texas.  Maybe it’s the Great Republic of Texas.  (I don’t know, technically, if that’s what they call it down there.) This officer has a great scenario.  Basically the question is: Can an intoxicated owner of a vehicle give consent to search?  (Right, despite being […]

Towing a Rental Car

Hello everyone.  It’s Anthony Bandiero, attorney and legal instructor for Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training.  Here is today’s question.  Can cops automatically tow a rental car if the driver is not on the rental agreement? Well, the answer is that we don’t really have a lot of case on this very issue.  Because really, […]

Extending Traffic Stop to Get Consent

Can police continue to ask for consent if the person is not giving an answer? This question is from an officer in Minnesota. Basically he asks this; “Say I’m looking for consent to search a motor vehicle. I asked the person if they would allow me to search their car, they beat around the bush […]

Reasonable Suspicion Stop for a Texas Buyer Tag

Did the Texas buyer plate give the officer proper reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop? So this officer sees a vehicle at almost midnight in an area that’s kind of known for high crime and so forth, and sees a vehicle bearing a Texas buyer’s plate. Okay, so here is the reason why the […]

Are Passengers Allowed to Leave The Traffic Stop?

The question that we have this time is:  Are passengers free to leave a traffic stop? The short answer is “NO.” Here’s why. The US Supreme Court has stated in a few decisions that passengers are seized under the Fourth Amendment when they are in a vehicle during a traffic stop. So they are seized. […]

Searching a Parked and Unoccupied Car in New Jersey with PC

Can New Jersey police officers search a parked and unoccupied car with probably cause? Great question. My name is Anthony Bandiero. I’m an attorney and senior legal instructor for Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training. I do teach in New Jersey, and I’m a licensed New Jersey attorney. This answer is obviously going to be […]

Abandoned or Junked Vehicle

This is a question that comes up a lot.  I’m being very proactive about this issue, which is:  Can police tag an abandoned or junked vehicle when it’s on curtilage? Okay, here is the scenario.  There’s a new ordinance.  This comes out of the great state of Louisiana.  There’s an ordinance that directs police officers […]

Ordering Hidden Occupants Out of A Vehicle

How can police order potentially smuggled people in a van out? My name is Anthony Bandiero, attorney and senior legal instructor for Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training, bringing this question from officer in Illinois. The officer says, “Would it be a Fourth Amendment violation by entering a full size van? It’s about 95 degrees […]

Can Police Officers Open a Car Door for ID Check?

Can officers open a car door if the driver refuses to identify themselves? I’m Anthony Bandiero, attorney and senior legal instructor for Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training. This question comes from an Officer in Arizona. Here is the scenario. An officer basically makes a traffic stop, and the driver is refusing to identify themselves, […]

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