Protect Your Rights

Clinton, Tennessee Legal Blog

When a traffic stop leads to the discovery of illegal substances, it’s easy to overlook the issue of the legality of the vehicle search itself. Whether or not the vehicle search was a violation of your rights can have a significant impact on the outcome of your drug charges.

What constitutes a legal vehicle search?

Police need a valid reason, or probable cause, to search your vehicle during a traffic stop. Probable cause could arise from visible drugs inside the car, the smell of drugs, or your behavior during the stop. Without probable cause, any evidence found may be inadmissible in court, which means the courts could drop the charges against you.

Steps to take if you believe the search was unlawful

While you may feel helpless in this situation, there are some things you can do that may help your case.

  • Stay calm and compliant: Regardless of your objections, remain calm and do not resist. Any resistance can worsen your situation.
  • Express your objections: Politely state that you do not consent to the search. This is important for your legal defense, even if officers proceed with the search.
  • Remember details: Note the time, location, what the officers said, and their actions. These details are crucial for your lawyer if you decide to take legal action.

Moving forward after a vehicle search

A traffic stop that leads to drug charges doesn’t always mean the charges will stick, especially if the vehicle search was unlawful. Understanding your rights can help you decide on the right path forward.