Pa laws on searching car

The Superior Court held that if police have probable cause to search a car, they may search all containers within the car in which they could reasonably expect to find the object of their search. Accordingly, police in Pennsylvania no longer need a search warrant in order to search bags or other containers in a car if they have probable cause for the search of the car. This is true regardless of whether there is any link between the container being searched and the driver of the car.

In other words, police may search the purses and luggage of passengers in the car.

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In Runyan , local police officers in Mercer County observed a sedan parked with four occupants in it. Police observed the sedan in an area that the officers described as a high crime, high drug area.

The vehicle was parked there late at night, so officers approached the vehicle to see what was going on. As one of the officers approached the vehicle, he smelled the door of burnt marijuana coming from the area around the vehicle. When he walked up to the passenger side door, he could see a small bag of marijuana on the back seat passenger side floor.

Naturally, the officer mentioned the bag of marijuana to the occupants of the car. The driver then attempted to crawl from the front of the car into the back seat and exit the car. At that point, the police officers asked everyone to get out of the car, handcuffed each occupant of the car, and began searching the vehicle.

Upon searching the car, the officer recovered the bag of marijuana which he had seen on the floor. Additionally, he found a number of purses in the car, and the officer searched those purposes. In one of the purses, he found a spoon, syringe, and crack pipe.

How To Refuse a Police Search - Protect Your Rights

The spoon had white residue on it, so the officer concluded that he had found drug paraphernalia. In another purse, the officer found a spoon with white residue on it and a number of syringes.

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That purse, unfortunately, also had the identification card for the defendant, Ms. Based on the discovery of the drug paraphernalia in the purse, the officers arrested Ms. Runyan and charged her with possession of drug paraphernalia. Runyan moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that although police may have had probable cause to search the car, they were required to and did not have independent probable cause to search her purse. For drivers near Pittston, that kind of car care is found at Ciocca Toyota of Williamsport.

Our Toyota service center has the facilities, tools, and staff to take care of all your vehicle upkeep needs. Next time you need an oil change, wheel alignment, or other you'll know who to call.

Voluntary Consent to Search Car: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v Lopez | Miller Law Offices

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Welcome to Ciocca Toyota of Williamsport

Above all else, you'll find that Ciocca Toyota of Williamsport is here to help you. We prioritize customer needs over everything else and treat each visitor with individualized care and attention. Whether you're here to shop for cars, apply for an auto loan, visit the service center, or simply see what we have to offer, you can count on our staff members' support and respect. If you're ready to visit, head on over. You'll find our location I just south of Loyalsock State Forest.

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Voluntary Consent to Search Car: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v Lopez

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Yes please Not now. Upon concluding that the papers were in order, Corporal Martin did not return them to Lopez but, instead asked Lopez to exit the vehicle and walk to its rear. After showing Lopez the towing violation, Corporal Martin proceeded to question Lopez regarding the origin, destination, purpose, and duration of his trip from New Mexico.

Probable Cause Searches

He then asked Lopez about the ownership and destination of the Volkswagen automobile; Lopez responded that he was delivering it to his brother. Corporal Martin then told Lopez to sit in the Ryder truck while he radioed for assistance. The search revealed a cache, containing approximately seventy-six pounds of marijuana, in a compartment located behind the back seat of the Volkswagen. Lopez was then patted down, handcuffed and placed inside a patrol vehicle where he was given his Miranda warnings.