Police must have probable cause to search your vehicle. Once you are pulled over for a traffic offense, such as speeding, driving without a tail light, or expired registration, police can approach your vehicle to ask for your license and registration. If law enforcement smells marijuana coming from your vehicle this gives them the requisite probable cause to search your vehicle. However, there are exceptions and limitations to where police can search.
Police officers must have individualized probable cause against the specific occupant(s) they are attempting to search. If police wish to search a container within the vehicle, such as a purse, the officer attempting to search must have probable cause that either the marijuana or related paraphernalia will be found therein. Lastly, if police wish to search the trunk of your car the officer must have specific probable cause attached to the trunk.
If you were charged with a traffic offense, possession of marijuana, or possession of drug paraphernalia call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation. Attorney Kristi Haddock and Attorney Wiley Nickel are available by phone at 919-585- 1486. Our office is located in Cary near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and I-40.