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Arlington Heights, IL defense attorney

There are a number of things that can cause a police officer to pull you over. Maybe your tail light was out, you did not use your turn signal, or you ran a red light. A police officer will likely pull you over for such violations. In some situations, an officer may request to search your vehicle. While the aforementioned violations could constitute a legal traffic stop, is it legal if the officer requests to search your vehicle? Technically, there are certain circumstances in which a police officer can search your vehicle without a warrant.

Police Searches of Vehicles

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states U.S. citizens have the right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This means police cannot search your property for no reason. There are only a handful of situations in which a police officer can legally search your car without a search warrant.


Posted on in Criminal Law

stops, evidence, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyA federal judge in neighboring Iowa recently upheld an officer’s stop in a drug case, even though the defendant was travelling a mere 1mph above the speed limit and the officers admitted that the stop was only a pretext for arrest. Fortunately, the case is not yet binding precedent in Illinois.

The Case

In United States v. Fuehrer, deputy sheriffs in Dubuque had been essentially spying on the defendant for quite some time. When they learned that he would be travelling along Highway 151, the deputies set up a radar speed trap; one of them clocked the defendant at 66mph in a 65mph zone. Probably because it had been pre-arranged, a drug-sniffing dog was on the scene a mere two minutes after the flashing lights appeared. The dog detected methamphetamines, the defendant was arrested for possession of drugs, and his lawyer filed a motion to suppress the evidence.