Q: Is it legal for a state trooper to search a locked glovebox? He said he was going to “bust it open” if I didn’t give key
I was pulled over for failure to display my front license plate - upon stop trooper asked if I smoked weed I said yes pointed to my pipe - then got out to get a leash from the trunk for my dog so he could search my car - I didn’t really give permission he just already was on it - so after admitting to smoking weed and showing him where my weed was he gets to the glovebox which I had locked with the keys in my hand and I had no intention of opening it - but then he said he would bust it open of I didn’t give him the keys?? So like a dummy I gave him the key and he allegedly found less than one gram of meth inside. So I was arrested for possession of a controlled substance pg 1 as well as possession of marijuana less than 2 oz. So was that legal? Should I have given the key? Or let him “bust up” my brand new vehicle?? Also I was in residential streets idk why a trooper was so quick to bust little ol me at 9:45am on my way to get breakfast.
A: Once the admission of possession of an illegal substance was made, the officer had a legal right to search your car. Whether the officer was going to "bust up" your car or impound your vehicle to perform an inventory search is speculation. Call your lawyer. Good luck.
Kiele Linroth Pace agrees with this answer
A: It sounds like the search was legal. The license plate gives the officer reasonable suspicion for the initial stop. You can be arrested for any offense except speeding. See: Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318. In addition to the license plate crime, you confessed to two others crimes: weed and possession of drug paraphernalia (pipe). A vehicle can be impounded incident to the arrest of the driver. The police may search a vehicle without a warrant if they have reason to believe the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest. See: Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332. The glove box is generally a good place to search for drugs... and it seems that was also true in this specific case, since it contained meth.
You can't change the situation that got you into this mess, but how you handle the current circumstance can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. Hire a criminal defense attorney and ask what steps you can take to increase your chances of a dismissal or treatment rather than a conviction and confinement. Whatever the expense, it will be cheaper in the long run to minimize the potential damage to your career. Life is hard enough without adding "convicted felon" to your resume.
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