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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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Can a civilian ride along with a peace officer search my vechile

Resolved Question:

Can a civilian ride along with a peace officer search my vechile even if he is not a sworn in peace officer. Can I then be charged with a crime if he found anything illegal?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 8 years ago.

A police officer allowing a civilian ride along to participate in a search of a vehicle would be most unusual and probably a violation of departmental policy.


On the other hand, a police officer in need can call upon the assistance of any person to help him. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine how a vehicle search by a civilian ride along would be justified by this principle.


A search by a civilian at the direction of a police officer would be subject to the same legal requirements for admissibility of the evidence as would apply to a search by the officer himself.


Therefore, I suggest you discuss this in detail with your attorney to see whether, under all of the circumstances, the search was legal and, if not, whether you should make a motion to suppress anything that was found.

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