Q: Does info from an informant give investigators probable cause to have someone pulled over and searched with no warrant
Investigators was following a friend due to info from informant. He called local police and told them to " find a reason to stop him". They did and searched the vehicle with no warrant and no consent cause the truck was not his to give consent to let them search. They found something he was arrested and they are trying to do a forfeiture on the vehicle. Does that give police probable cause to search the vehicle without a warrant?
The answer to your question is Maybe.
Probable cause is always dependent on the amount and quality of the information police obtain regarding a crime. If someone is pulled over, and there is no evidence of a crime, they may not search a car without a warrant or consent. The driver of a car is always responsible for the vehicle and can deny consent, if there is no crime occurring.
The forfeiture requires proof that the car OWNER used it as part of a crime.
There are lots of issues in this case.
Hopefully your friend will get a good lawyer.
Tristan Nicolas LeGrande agrees with this answer
Texas courts require information from an such info to have sufficient indications of identity and reliability, if it is relied upon as the basis for probable cause to stop someone. They look at how much they know about the informant, the recency of the information provided, how detailed the info provided is, and other indications of reliability…
HOWEVER, they don’t need anything more than a violation of the TX transportation code (traffic offense) to stop a vehicle. It does not matter what else there is to the story, or why they began following the person, if they witness a traffic infraction, they can stop their vehicle. From there, they would still need consent, probable cause, or another exception to the warrant requirement to begin a search once the vehicle is stopped.
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