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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide general practice and mediation & arbitration services to my clients.
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if the police were out on a call in a neighborhood, and then

Customer Question

if the police were out on a call in a neighborhood, and then seen a vehicle parked in front of a residence, on the wrong side of the street, facing the wrong direction, the keys were in the ignition, along with a purse in between the seats, are the police officer's allowed to search the vehicle, after speaking with the residence owner whom the car was parked in front of, and they tell them that it was a person's car that they new, yet that their daughter was probably driving it, and they never seen who was driving it, yet they searched it, and reported that they had found meth in a coin purse located in the purse inside the vehicle, then also while searching through the purse, had discovered by the license in the purse, that it belonged to a person whom had a misdemeanor warrant out, or atleast the person with the warrant's driver's license was there, but they never seen that person. And they also spoke with the owner of the vehicle and that person said that they were at work, but they could be there in approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Were they allowed to search the vehicle?
Submitted: 7 years ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Did the police ask the owner of the vehicle if they could search the car? If so, did the owner consent?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
no, when the owner of the car got on the phone with them and said that she would be there in that amount of time, the officer just said, no that's to long, and then just hung up on her.
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 7 years ago.
Sorry for the delay.

Usually IF the police have probable cause to search (and an abandoned but running vehicle may be deemed to have just that type of cause), the police are able to search. By your own comments the vehicle was wrongly parked, and on the wrong side, making the police come to a reasonable conclusion that either the party driving was in distress, or possibly intoxicated (as sober individuals do not park in that manner). That does give them a right to inspect the vehicle, especially if the primary purpose was to find the original owner.

I am sorry.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 6/5/2010 at 12:02 AM EST