Grand Haven, MI asked in Traffic Tickets for Michigan

Q: Can a cop search your car without asking

Was asked to get out and sit on the front of a cruiser reason for being pulled over was no plate on vehicle

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Your question asks if the police may search your car, but your explanation doesn't involve a search. Yes, the police may request you to exit the vehicle during a traffic stop. Does it always happen? No. But they certainly may demand that you do. Can they search your car is a different matter. They can of course act on anything in plain view: anything you can see from the windows or opened doors. If an arrest or impound happen, they can conduct an inventory search. And - surprisingly most common - they can simply ask you if you consent to a search.

While you didn't ask this specifically, something can be done with evidence found during an illegal search. But you'll need to talk with an attorney about your specific facts.

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