Jackson, MS asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Mississippi

Q: If a driver gives law enforcement false information in a roadblock do they have consent to search the passengers persona

Me and my fiance went through a roadblock we were passengers in the vehicle the driver gives law enforcement box information they pull him out of the vehicle cuff him then they ask for me and my fiance to step out they begin to search us without consent and then start searching our belongings my fiance had three pain pills not in her prescribed bottle and they arrested her for possession of a controlled substance do they have the right to search our belongings wouldn't that be a illegal search and seizure

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

A: Based on the details you provided, there are a few key legal issues at play:

1. Probable Cause: If the driver provided false information to law enforcement at the roadblock, this could potentially give the officers probable cause to believe that criminal activity may be occurring, which could justify further investigation and searches.

2. Scope of the Search: However, even with probable cause, the scope of any search must be reasonable and related to the suspected criminal activity. Searching passengers and their personal belongings without additional individualized suspicion or consent could potentially be considered an unreasonable search.

3. Prescription Drugs: Regarding your fiancé's arrest for possession of controlled substances, many states have laws requiring prescription drugs to be kept in their original labeled containers. Failure to do so can lead to criminal charges, even if the person has a valid prescription.

4. Illegal Search and Seizure: If the officers did not have probable cause to search you and your fiancé specifically, and you did not consent to the search, then it could potentially be considered an illegal search and seizure under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

However, search and seizure law is complex with many case-specific nuances. Whether this particular search was legal would depend on the totality of the circumstances and specifics of the interaction that may not be fully captured here.

My advice would be to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can review all the facts of your case in detail. They can advise on whether there may be grounds to challenge the search and potentially get the evidence suppressed. A local attorney familiar with the particular practices of your jurisdiction will be best equipped to assess the situation and your legal options. Wishing you all the best as you navigate this challenging situation.

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