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The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
AVVO Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Criminal Defense
Nation's Premier | NACDA | Top Ten Ranking 2014
10 Best 2014 | Client Satisfaction Award | American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
2016 top 100 lawyer ASLA
10 best 2016 client satisfaction| American Institute of personal injury Attorneys
American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys
Top 10 Attorneys American Jurist Institute 2017

Vehicle Searches Archives

Vehicle Searches invesntory search

Inventory searches (when it comes to vehicle searches) are an exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement for searching a vehicle. There are three main purposes for conducting an inventory search. First, it is to protect the owner's property while it is in police custody, second it is to protect officers from potentially dangerous items or weapons in or on the property, and third it is to protect officers from claims against lost, stolen, or broken property. Evidence found in a lawfully conducted inventory search can also be used aga  leaving an accidentinst the defendant in a future trial. Inventory searches do not require probable cause because inventory searches are non-criminal procedures. This means that a search warrant is not necessary.

Vehicle searches and stops

A motor vehicle stop enacted without the proper level of suspicion violates the United States Constitution, and the Pennsylvania Constitution. Vehicle searches and stops in criminal cases may trigger violations of an accused's rights under the US constitution.  Vehicle searches and stops generally reuire that the police possess probable cause.  Generally, in order to effectuate a motor vehicle stop a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that a violation of Title 75 is or has occurred. 75 Pa.C.S. § 6308(b). Suppression motions  However, where an officer merely has reasonable suspicion that a violation of the motor vehicle code has occurred, and more cannot be gained by investigation during a seizure, then it cannot be a valid stop. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a case named Chase explained that before a police officer may stop a single vehicle to determine whether or not the vehicle is being operated in compliance with the Motor Vehicle Code, he must have probable cause based on specific facts which indicate to him either the vehicle or the driver are in violation of the vehicle code.

When are the police allowed to search your vehicle?

One of the most frequent questions that comes up with criminal cases and vehicle stops involving the police is: When can the police search my vehicle? Before answering this question, let's look at what an individual's privacy rights are in Pennsylvania when it comes to a vehicle.

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Law Offices of Kelly & Conte
213 W Miner Street #3
West Chester, PA 19382

Phone: 610-314-7066
Fax: 610-436-0628
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