Car stops in PA. Its the middle of the night and you are lost. You start to make sudden turns and stops looking for your way home. Police pull over your car and ask you what’s going on. What do you do? Maybe a friend smoked some weed in your car and now the officer smells it. What do you do? More importantly, what are your rights?
Can the officer check your identification, insurance, and registration? Yes, if the Police have seen you violate the motor vehicle code. If you are driving with a tail light out, speeding, driving erratically the Police can pull you over to check things out. Typically, the Police will ask for your license, insurance, and registration.
Do the Police lie about witnessing a motor vehicle violation? Yes, of course, it gives the Police a reason to investigate further. Sometimes the Police stop a car for reasons not related to law enforcement. But this article will discuss a lawful stop and what happens next.
Car stops in PA. Now once the officer has verified the driver’s information, the officer decides if they are going to write up a ticket for the infraction. They can also choose to let the driver go with a warning. Under either of these situations, that ends the lawful authority of the Police officer. You drive home.
What if the Officer sees something to arouse their suspicion? What happens next? Do the Police need a warrant to search your car? What if you give your consent to search your car? These questions were recently addressed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in its decision Commonwealth vs. Alexander, decided December 20, 2020. The case is cited under 2020 Pa. LEXIS 6439.
The Court held that Pa. Const. art. I, § 8 afforded greater protection to Commonwealth citizens than the Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const. amend. IV, and reaffirmed that the Pennsylvania Constitution requires both a showing of probable cause and exigent circumstances to justify a warrantless search of an automobile; -The Court reversed the order of the lower appellate court that upheld the denial of defendant’s motion to suppress as the remaining question was whether the instant search was authorized and the answer required further development.
If you have been arrested by the Police and contraband has been recovered call us today for a free consultation (215) 423-5500. The legal team at Kenny, Burns & McGill are always ready to defend your rights 24/7. Car stops in PA.