Colorado law probable cause for vehicle search


What Is Reasonable Suspicion?

But there must be something more in the way of necessity than merely a lawful arrest. The Court overruled Trupiano in United States v. Rabinowitz , in which officers had arrested the defendant in his one-room office pursuant to an arrest warrant and proceeded to search the room completely. The Court observed that the issue was not whether the officers had the time and opportunity to obtain a search warrant but whether the search incident to arrest was reasonable. In Chimel v. California , however, a narrower view was asserted, the primacy of warrants was again emphasized, and a standard by which the scope of searches pursuant to arrest could be ascertained was set out.

And the area into which an arrestee might reach in order to grab a weapon or evidentiary items must, of course, be governed by a like rule. A gun on a table or in a drawer in front of someone who is arrested can be as dangerous to the arresting officer as one concealed in the clothing of the person arrested. Such searches, in the absence of well-recognized exceptions, may be made only under the authority of a search warrant.

Although the viability of Chimel had been in doubt for some time as the Court refined and applied its analysis of reasonable and justifiable expectations of privacy, it has in some but not all contexts survived the changed rationale. Thus, in Mincey v.

Passenger ID and the 4th Amendment

The occupant had been arrested and removed and it was true, the Court observed, that a person legally taken into custody has a lessened right of privacy in his person, but he does not have a lessened right of privacy in his entire house. And, in United States v. Chimel has, however, been qualified by another consideration.

When Can the Police Search Your Car?

Belton held that police officers who had made a valid arrest of the occupant of a vehicle could make a contemporaneous search of the entire passenger compartment of the automobile, including containers found therein. In the early days of the automobile, the Court created an exception for searches of vehicles, holding in Carroll v. United States that vehicles may be searched without warrants if the officer undertaking the search has probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband.

The Court explained that the mobility of vehicles would allow them to be quickly moved from the jurisdiction if time were taken to obtain a warrant. It travels public thoroughfares where both its occupants and its contents are in plain view. By contrast, fixed-checkpoint stops in the absence of any individualized suspicion have been upheld for purposes of promoting highway safety or policing the international border, but not for more generalized law enforcement purposes.

Although officers who have stopped a car to issue a routine traffic citation may conduct a Terry -type search, even including a pat-down of driver and passengers if there is reasonable suspicion that they are armed and dangerous, they may not conduct a full-blown search of the car unless they exercise their discretion to arrest the driver instead of issuing a citation.

Police in undertaking a warrantless search of an automobile may not extend the search to the persons of the passengers therein unless there is a reasonable suspicion that the passengers are armed and dangerous, in which case a Terry patdown is permissible, or unless there is individualized suspicion of criminal activity by the passengers. Not only is the warrant requirement inap-plicable to brief stops of vessels, but also none of the safeguards applicable to stops of automobiles on less than probable cause are necessary predicates to stops of vessels. In United States v.

Villamonte-Marquez , the Court upheld a random stop and boarding of a vessel by customs agents, lacking any suspicion of wrongdoing, for purpose of inspecting documentation. The reason why random stops of vehicles have been held impermissible under the Fourth Amendment , the Court explained, is that stops at fixed checkpoints or roadblocks are both feasible and less subject to abuse of discretion by authorities.

Fourth Amendment rights, like other con-stitutional rights, may be waived, and one may consent to a search of his person or premises by officers who have not complied with the Amendment. Actual knowledge of the right to refuse consent is not essential for a search to be found voluntary, and police therefore are not required to inform a person of his rights, as through a Fourth Amendment version of Miranda warnings.

Additional issues arise in determining the validity of consent to search when consent is given not by the suspect, but by a third party. A person at the threshold of a residence could not confidently conclude he was welcome to enter over the express objection of a present co-tenant.

Probable Cause Searches

Expectations may change, however, if the objecting co-tenant leaves, or is removed from, the premises with no prospect of imminent return. Inland stoppings and searches in areas away from the borders are a different matter altogether. Thus, in Almeida-Sanchez v. Similarly, the Court invalidated an automobile search at a fixed checkpoint well removed from the border; while agreeing that a fixed checkpoint probably gave motorists less cause for alarm than did roving patrols, the Court nonetheless held that the invasion of privacy entailed in a search was just as intrusive and must be justified by a showing of probable cause or consent.

In Hester v. United States. In New Jersey v. The search for cigarettes uncovered evidence of drug activity held admissible in a prosecution under the juvenile laws. In Safford Unified School District 1 v. Redding , a student found in possession of prescription ibuprofen pills at school stated that the pills had come from another student, year-old Savana Redding.


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In City of Ontario v. Board of Chosen Freeholders , upheld routine strip searches, including close-up visual cavity inspections, as part of processing new arrestees for entry into the general inmate population, without the need for individualized suspicion and without an exception for those arrested for minor offenses. But despite taking a deferential approach and recounting the grave dangers correctional officers face, the Florence Court did not hold that individuals being processed for detention have no privacy rights at all.

In separate concurrences, moreover, two members of the five-Justice majority held out the prospect of exceptions and refinements in future rulings on blanket strip search policies for new detainees. If your vehicle is impounded after an arrest or accident, the police may be able to do an inventory search of the vehicle.

If the police find evidence of criminal activity during the inventory search, that evidence may be used against you in court.


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  4. In order for the police to conduct a valid inventory search, the vehicle must be lawfully impounded and the search is conducted under standard inventory policies. The fact that a vehicle can be moved also is used to justify the vehicle exception. In most cases, the police need a search warrant to search your house.

    The police generally need to go to a judge and show probable cause that there is evidence of criminal activity inside your home before they can get a search warrant. Showing probable cause for a warrant may include providing sworn statements, witness statements, statements from police informants, surveillance evidence, or other relevant information. If the judge finds there is a reasonable basis to believe there is evidence of a crime in your home, the judge may issue the search warrant to allow the police to search your home.

    What Constitutes Probable Cause for a DUI Stop in Colorado?

    A search warrant generally has to specify the location to be searched and the specific type of evidence police are looking for. Law enforcement searches may be limited to the areas specified in the warrant. Search warrants may also have a limited time frame to be served. Searches and seizures inside your home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable and a possible violation of your constitutional rights.

    These include:. If you let the police search your house and they find evidence of criminal activity, they may be able to use that evidence against you. If the police are chasing a suspect who they see run into a house, they may be able to enter the property without a warrant. If the police have a reasonable belief that they need to enter a home to prevent physical harm to another person or destruction of evidence, they may also be able to enter without a warrant. Police need probable cause to make an arrest. This can involve an arrest warrant or a criminal offense committed in the officer's presence.

    To get an arrest warrant, the police or prosecutor have to show a judge that there is a reasonable belief that the suspect has committed or is going to commit a crime.

    The police must be able to articulate specific facts to show probable cause and cannot be based on general suspicion. Many arrests involve criminal activity or suspected criminal activity that is committed in the presence of an officer. If the police officer witnesses activity to believe a person has committed a public offense, misdemeanor , or felony in the officer's presence, they can make an arrest.

    For example, a police officer is conducting a traffic stop when they smell alcohol on the driver's breath. They may have probable cause to believe the driver is violating Colorado's DUI laws and place the suspect under arrest. If you have been arrested by an officer or searched without probable cause, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group.

    Traffic Stops

    The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you. Close X. Colorado In-Depth It is normal to be frightened and overwhelmed following an arrest. California Nevada. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address: 1. What is a probable cause?

    Reasonable suspicion for traffic stops. Probable cause to search your car. Probable cause to search your house.

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