Q: If a cop pulls you over for no reason what so ever and detains you and searches the car finding drugs can you fight it?
A: Yes. A Motion to Suppress pursuant to PC 1538.5 can be filed and if successful after a hearing is held, all evidence illegally seized can be suppressed (meaning cannot be used against you).
I suggest you consult with and hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer who specializes in illegal search and seizure cases.
A: Generally speaking, a cop must have reasonable suspicion that a driver has committed a traffic offense in order to lawfully pull over a vehicle, because it involves the detention of the occupants and the 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Beyond the stop (which can be justified by the reasonable belief that a traffic violation did exist), the cop must have additional legal justification for the search. Was it an invalid license, and therefore a misdemeanor, which would permit the cop to search in an accelerated inventory of the vehicle; Or some other cause to impound the car, or arrest the driver, or someone on probation?
The method to challenge the search is a Motion to Suppress the evidence found in the search under Penal Code section 1538.5, and involves the analysis of all the facts and prior case law to determine what is or isn't lawful. The cops profile people they think worthy of being stopped all the time, and it's okay under the law, as long as they also
observe a traffic offense (frequently as insignificant as license plate lights).
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.