Alexandria, VA asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Virginia

Q: Is it illegal for a officer to reach in your car without a warrant to grab anything?

I had a blunt roach in my ash tray so small I dont even think it had anything In it and he grabbed it right out of my ash tray without my permission I felt like it was not the right way.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers

Bryan J. Jones

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: If an officer has probable cause, they can reach into your car and seize evidence. In this case, it appears that the officer probably had probable cause.

Daniel P Leavitt

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Midlothian, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: If the officer was able to see contraband in plain sight then that would give him probable cause to search. Keeping contraband in plain sight, or smoking marijuana (smell) gives the officer probable cause to search and is an invitation for police to search your vehicle.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.