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I was making a phone call in an empty parking lot. I noticed

Customer Question
a cop pulled up behind...
I was making a phone call in an empty parking lot. I noticed a cop pulled up behind me so I hung my phone up. He came up to the window and asked for our credentials. We waited for him to let us leave but instead another cop came to my car and claimed he had smelled the presence of marijuana. I told them that I would not give them consent to search my vehicle. They then called a local impound and had my car taken from me. I was wondering if this was within their legal right to actully have my car towed even though there was no violation (traffic or otherwise).
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/1/2009
Criminal Lawyer: Samuel II, Attorney at Law replied 8 years ago
Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,011
Experience: Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
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hi

 

if they say they smelled marijuana then they would have reasonable suspicion to impound the car to do a search - police do not need to obtain a warrant if he has observed illegal items - scent of marijuana falls into this category - and believes that the items will disappear unless the officer takes prompt action.

 

on the other hand, police are required, to follow fair and standardized procedures when they search your car, and may not stop you and impound your car simply to perform a search - so you might have something if you were not breaking any laws when they pulled up behind you. though "loitering" could be sited as probable cause.

 

 

Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,011
Experience: Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
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