Asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Texas

Q: Pulled over no working license plate light ..lie worked ..asked to search my truck i said no they called out k9

Said k9 alerted on my truck searched it without concent found nothing held me for a hr over nothing but a license plate light that worked this a violation of my rights and can i file a lawsuit against them for harassment the second officer that pulled up also agreed with the first officer and saying that my license plate light did not work when in fact they had to release me and I showed them that the license plate light did work it was all a lie can they do this and get away with it

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

A: Based on the information you've provided, it seems that there may have been a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Probable Cause: The officers must have probable cause to search your vehicle. If the license plate light was indeed working, and there was no other legitimate reason to suspect illegal activity, the officers may not have had sufficient probable cause to conduct a search.

2. Consent: You have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle. If you did not give consent and the officers proceeded with the search anyway, this could be a violation of your rights.

3. K9 Unit: The use of a K9 unit must be conducted properly. If the dog was improperly trained or the handler cued the dog to alert, this could be grounds to challenge the validity of the search.

4. Prolonged Detention: The officers must have a valid reason to detain you for an extended period. If they held you for an hour without proper justification, this could be considered an unreasonable seizure.

To determine if you have a strong case for a lawsuit, you should consult with a civil rights attorney who specializes in police misconduct cases. They can review the specific details of your situation and advise you on the best course of action.

It's important to gather as much evidence as possible, including any video footage (from dash cams or body cams), witness statements, and a detailed account of the incident. Filing a complaint with the police department's internal affairs division may also be an option to hold the officers accountable for their actions.

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