Florida has some of the stricter drug-related laws in the country. If you are facing charges for possessing or distributing a controlled substance, a conviction may require you to spend time behind bars, pay a stiff fine or both.
Even if you have no drugs in your vehicle, officers may find contraband during a search. Possessing contraband, which may be anything useful in ingesting, manufacturing or distributing drugs, is also a serious offense.
Do officers need probable cause to search your vehicle?
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you and others from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, officers must have either a warrant or your permission to search something you own. Cars work a bit differently, though.
Because cars drive on public roadways, drivers have a reduced expectation of privacy. If officers have reason to believe your car contains evidence of criminal activity, they can probably search it. They typically can also search your vehicle when impounding it or arresting you.
Which officers tend to search cars?
A recent study reveals some interesting details about which officers choose to search cars. Specifically, female officers are less likely to search vehicles than their male counterparts. When female officers search vehicles, however, they usually find more contraband than male officers do.
Regardless of whether a male or female officer finds contraband or drugs, vehicle searches must comply with precise legal requirements. Ultimately, if an officer conducts an illegal search of your vehicle or does something wrong during the search, you may have legal grounds to pursue the dismissal of your drug or contraband charges.