Q&A: Search Incident to Arrest


I was pulled over in a car that was reported stolen the people who reported it stolen didn’t own the car the owner of the car was the passengers girlfriend they did a felony stop guns drawn and all placed me in handcuffs searched me and found a usable ammount of speed on me which they are charging me a classs 4 felony there has to be some kind of guidelines they follow up on . I don’t believe I should of been handcuffed or searched at that point.

B. Pietro correctly answered as follows:

Police must have reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or that a crime has been committed to make a traffic stop. The stopping of a vehicle on a report of a stolen vehicle would seem to provide that necessary reasonable suspicion. Usually it’s the owner of the vehicle or someone who has legal possession of a vehicle that makes a report of a vehicle being stolen. Is it reasonable then, for the police to believe that a stolen vehicle report made by just anyone is valid? This is an issue that needs to be determined.

A search of a person during a traffic stop requires a reasonable belief that the person stopped is armed and dangerous. Then a limited pat down for weapons is permitted. The seizing of contraband in a pat down for weapons requires that the police officer could identify that object as contraband by the mere feel of it before seizing it. Could the officer tell that it was contraband by its feel?

An arrest based on probable cause that a person committed a crime will allow police to search that person. Did the police officer arrest you before conducting the search and what was the basis for the arrest?

These are issues that an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney should undertake to resolve your situation.

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