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Michael J, Esq.
Michael J, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3459
Experience:  Licensed attorney experienced in criminal matters, having represented hundreds of clients with every misdemeanor and felony imaginable.
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im sure i already know the answers to these questions but im

Customer Question

im sure i already know the answers to these questions but im doing this for school so i want to be positive. in CA can an officer search your car for drugs if you were driving erratically yet you dont smell of alcohol? can he search the people in your car? could you be charged if your passenger was in possesion of drugs?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Hello -

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer,.

1. To search your vehicle for things that aren't in "plain sight", an officer must have a search warrant or consent from the owner of the car.

2. The people in the car may be searched if the police have probable cause for an arrest, or if they don't have probable cause, they may do the pat-down for their safety if they believe the person to be armed and dangerous.

3. If the passenger was in possession of drugs, and it was on their person (not on their seat or in the immediate reach of the owner) then the owner should not be charged.

Hope this helps,

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so i may be compensated for my time. If you are not satisfied with the Answer, please feel free not to Accept, and post a follow up question so I may be able to clarify my Answer. My goal is to provide an outstanding Answer, so give me a chance.

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes but if you were driving erratically and didnt smell of alcohol could they use probable cause to search your vehicle on the assumption you are high on a different substance?
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
An officer can not search your vehicle upon probable cause. They must have a search warrant or consent.

If you were driving highly erratically and looked "stoned" or in some other way gave off a vibe of being under the influence of something other than alcohol, the officer could use that as probable cause to get a warrant.

Hope this helps,

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so i may be compensated for my time. If you are not satisfied with the Answer, please feel free not to Accept, and post a follow up question so I may be able to clarify my Answer. My goal is to provide an outstanding Answer, so give me a chance.

Regards,

Michael
Michael J, Esq. and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
okay. thank you very much michael!