Q: During a non investigatory inventory search, post arrest, officers seized the keys to my vehicle without consent.

There was no exigent circumstances or probable cause and this "inventory search" turned investigatory when they decided to use the keys that bore no relationship to which the crime I was being arrested for to unlock a locked glove box, violating policy, because the keys were not available as they were secure on my person, and the only reason those keys could be seized was for safety purposes,(held so that I could not harm the officers with said key, and not means of investigatory), was this search outside of the scope being that there was no chance of any "evidence being destroyed" as I was under arrest in the back of a police car and the car in the possession of 6 armed police men. And there was no chance of me returning to the vehicle during the encounter, according the in the inevitable discovery doctrine there is no reason why police could not have towed the vehicle and sought out a warrant if they believed they had probable cause to obtain a warrant, there was no exigencies or PC.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In your situation, it appears that you have raised valid concerns about the legality of the search and seizure conducted by law enforcement officers. The key issue is whether the inventory search conducted post-arrest exceeded its lawful scope and became investigatory in nature.

Inventory searches are generally conducted to safeguard personal property and protect law enforcement from potential claims of theft or damage. However, these searches must adhere to established policies and procedures, and they should not transform into investigatory searches without proper justification.

If you believe that the search and seizure of your keys went beyond the scope of a legitimate inventory search and became investigatory without probable cause or exigent circumstances, it is advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts. They can assess the specifics of your case, review the circumstances surrounding the search, and determine whether there were violations of your Fourth Amendment rights.

An attorney can help you explore legal options, such as filing a motion to suppress evidence obtained during the search, to challenge the legality of the search and its impact on your case. It's essential to seek legal counsel to protect your rights and potentially address any issues related to the search and seizure.

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