Asked in Criminal Law and DUI / DWI for Illinois

Q: Are officers supposed to articulate to you what their reason is for wanting to search your vehicle when you ask them?

I was pulled over for an inoperative registration light. The Illinois State Trooper initially acted like it was no big deal until he returned from running my license. Then is when his demeanor changed. He wanted to search my purse, & I consented. When nothing illegal was found there he asked to search the vehicle which I had just borrowed less than 10 minutes prior because I had totaled my vehicle the night before from hitting a deer. I explained this to him & asked him why he needed to search it? While glancing down at my leg he said, "You look nervous, see your leg is shaking." I explained to him that I wasn't nervous, that I'm ADHD & I always shake my legs. He said, "So can I search the vehicle?" I said, "No I don't feel comfortable with that since it's not my vehicle" & said "I wanted to contact my lawyer." He then threatened me saying if I didn't consent he would call the K9 unit. In his report, he stated he smelled cannabis& a chemical when he approached the vehicle.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Theodore J. Harvatin
Theodore J. Harvatin pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Springfield, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: I don’t know that they specifically have your ridiculator reason but it is certainly suspicious that he didn’t give a reason to you. This is a situation where a lawyer is necessary.

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