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I let a friend borrow my car for a short errand. She

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I let a friend...

I let a friend borrow my car for a short errand. She violated my trust in her was stopped for a minor traffic violation and was searched for drugs. She was put in jail and my car was impounded from the Wal-Mart parking lot where she was stopped. Because of the justice system in Boyle county she pleaded to a class d felony. I an 68 years old retired from the US Air force and my vehicle has been stopped 9 times in less than 2 months for minor traffic violations such as not turning on a signal less than 100 feet before the intersection. The car has been searched 3 times with nothing found. After each traffic stop the police tell me it because of the drug arrest in late September. They also state that they will keep stopping my car. The police follow us all over town especially after dark with their headlights turned off. Also at each stop they slander my good name stating that I buy girls drugs for sex which is totally untrue and unfounded. I'm to the point I'm tired of this and I'm becoming afriad of the police myself. Each time we are stopped my female companion is subjected to a humiliating body search by male officers. Please advise because I believe this is an unreasonable search

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And can you tell me a little more about the charge?

I'm in Kentucky the original charge was a small amount of meth drug that she had in her possession. She received a 1 year sentence. She was put in jail Sept 25 2017 and was placed on HIP about December 22 2018. I have nothing to do with her any more because she violated my trust

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No no since her arrest in Sept

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I can't think of anything. It's annoying and at times down right scary

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 3 hours by:
12/29/2017
Criminal Lawyer: James Daloisio, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
James Daloisio
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 438
Experience: 30 years experience in criminal law, continuing education.
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Hi, my name is ***** ***** welcome to Just Answer.

There are different levels of proof that the police are required to have before taking certain actions.

The lowest level is an "articulable suspicion of criminal activity," which is what allows them to stop your car. They have to be able to point to some fact or circumstance that suggests the possibility of criminal activity. A traffic violation, a broken tail lamp, erratic driving, etc. They can't just stop you because they recognize you from some incident in the past.

The next level is "probable cause," which is the level of proof necessary to conduct a search or make an arrest. They have to point to specific facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that something illegal to possess or constitution evidence of a crime is present, thus justifying a search, or that a person committed a crime, thus justifying an arrest. This has been defined as "entertaining a strong suspicion of guilt."

You indicated that you have been stopped "for minor traffic violations." They can do that.

But they can't search the car, or search the driver and passengers, unless they have probable cause to believe there's contraband there. And those body searches are improper. Courts have upheld strip searches and body searches of prisoners, detainees, and inmates at jail and prison facilities, or in police department lockups. But when you're out in the field on the side of the road, and the police do not have evidence to arrest you and take you into custody, the requirements for conducting a body search are rigid. Most police departments have a requirement that field body searches are to be conducted only under "exigent circumstances." Some states require that a search warrant be obtained to conduct field body searches. At a minimum, there must be an immediate risk to life, property, or a risk of the destruction of evidence or a suspect escaping.

So...the first thing to do is identify the wrong doing. Stopping you for minor traffic violations is not improper or illegal. But routinely searching your car and your passengers, and you, with no other reason to suspect criminal activity other than something that happened in the past, is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Generally speaking, there are only three occasions that justify a body search in the absence of "exigent circumstances:" (1) With a search warrant, (2) at a border or an airport, and (3) at a detention facility.

Then it's a matter of deciding whether you want to complain to the police department directly or consult with a civil rights attorney. Fourth Amendment violations by law enforcement can give rise to a lawsuit under Title 42, U.S. Code 1983. Here's the text of that statute:

"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia."

Section 1983 lawsuits can be filed in state or federal court.

The fact that your were told by the police that they are going to keep stopping your car is troubling. It shows an intent to violate your rights. So your options are:

1. do nothing and hope they get tired of bothering you;

2. file a complaint with the department;

3. sue them.

Feel free to ask follow up questions here if you need more specific information. My goal is to earn a five star rating from you. Thank you for using Just Answer.

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