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Do I ever have to consent to allow police to search my home or car?

I was recently pulled over while driving to a friends house. The cops had initially pulled me over for a broken tail light, however one of the officers said they "thought they smelled marijuana in my car". I was asked to step out of the car at that time. Upon doing so, I was asked if they could search my vehicle. I denied that search and was threatened to be taken down to the station and detained. Not wanting to be detained, I let them search my car. They found one empty marijuana bag and I got a ticket. I feel tricked.


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    Vincent C. Machroli | Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
    High Point Plaza
    Hillside, IL 60162-1949
    (708) 449-7400
    I don't understand why you "feel tricked", you did consent, you made the decision to allow the search, because you didn't want "to be detained". You could have stuck with your original denial of the search, but then the police likely would have taken you to the police station for questioning, & possibly they would also have impounded your car pursuant to a police investigation, and/or obtained a valid search warrant which would permit them to search your car. So your consent to the search was probably an OK decision after all.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois - Replied: 4/4/2013
    Patrick Mahaney | Law Office of Patrick Mahaney
    8244 Old Federal Road
    Montgomery, AL 36117
    (334) 277-3974
    You do not have to consent. In fact, the word "consent" means a voluntary relinquishment of a known right. One cannot be coerced into giving consent. In the realm of Constitutional standards for consent, the leading cases of Schnecklothv.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama - Replied: 4/3/2013
    David Akulian | Not Guilty In DC
    10 G St. NE #710
    Washington, DC 20002
    (800) 408-0919
    You never HAVE to consent to a search. But in the case of a car stop, Officers can generate facts which lead them to probable cause to search the car. They may have asked for consent to make you feel better about the search. But you don't have to consent to search and ALWAYS have the right to say NO to consent search. Anyway, the underlying case may be difficult to prove for the Government if all you had was an empty baggie. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia - Replied: 4/3/2013
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