Search and seizure involving vehicle searches is very similar to that of homes. When it comes to vehicle searches it is well -settled that Article 1 section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution is not simply a mirror-image of the 4th Amendment. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has stated repeatedly in interpreting Article 1 section 8, that provision is meant to embody a strong notion of privacy, carefully safeguarded in this Commonwealth for the past two centuries. arrest warrants Thus, it can fairly be stated that the Pennsylvania Constitution affords a greater degree of protection for a citizen’s privacy interests than the United States Constitution. “The polestar of the expanded protection afforded by Article 1 Section 8, which distinguishes it from its federal counterpart, is its emphasis upon personal privacy interests. Thus, when it comes to vehicle searches, the government and its officers must prove that they complied with these requirements under the Pennsylvania constitution. In these situations the court will determine whether the Commonwealth has met its burden of proof that an officers entry was permissible in the first place under the totality of the circumstances and based upon the evidence presented at the hearing.
Accordingly, when it comes to vehicle searches under PA law, the Judge has to determine whether the government possessed probable cause to search the vehicle to begin with or whether the owner of the vehicle consented to letting the officer search the vehicle. stop and frisk Furthermore, it is well settled that “an automobile is a place where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy and thus is entitled to be free from unreasonable intrusions by the government.” It is the Commonwealth’s burden of proof to establish through credible and competent evidence that search and seizure did not violate the defendant’s rights. Make sure to contact an experienced chester county criminal lawyer when confronted with such issues.