When Can the Police Search My Car for Drugs in Arizona? A Phoenix Drug Possession Attorney Explains

It is not unusual to see felony drug charges in Phoenix after a car search. However, police are limited by the law as far as when they are allowed to search your car for drugs. As a Phoenix drug possession attorney, here is a little information I’d like to share with you about car searches.

When Can the Police Search My Car for Drugs?

Law enforcement officers do not have to have a warrant to search your car in most cases. However, your Fourth Amendment rights still protect you from unreasonable search and seizure even when you are in a vehicle. This means that, by federal law, police must have probable cause before they can search your car for drugs. 

For example, if you are pulled over for running a red light, police cannot search your car for drugs unless there is some other sign that drugs or other crimes are involved. A probable cause in this case might be the smell of marijuana in your car or drug paraphernalia in plain sight when you are pulled over. 

If the police do search your car, be aware that your and your passengers’ belongings may be included in the search. This would include searching purses, backpacks, etc. Keep in mind that, even if you refused a search, the contents of your car will be routinely inventoried by the police if the car is towed after your arrest. 

Your rights when police search your car

Police Searched My Car in Phoenix. What Happens Now?

If you are facing Arizona felony drug charges after the police searched your car in Phoenix, don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. Speak with a Phoenix drug possession attorney as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292 to talk about your situation and the circumstances of your arrest. The Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten serve Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Glendale, and the surrounding areas. 

We understand that facing criminal charges can be difficult and confusing. Learn more about Arizona laws and what to do after an arrest with a FREE copy of our helpful book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know. Just give us a call or use our online contact form to request your copy today.

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