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If a deputy pulls you out of the car before even asking for a license and searches you, are they violating the Fourth Amendment? What should the victim do at that point?

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This is a complicated question. The Fourth Amendment states that police officers

must obtain written permission from a court of law to legally search a person and his or her property and seize evidence while they are investigating possible criminal activity.

Unless police officers comply with this rule, any evidence they may find through a search that is not technically legal will be inadmissible in court. However, most average citizens do not know their rights under this Amendment, so they are unlikely to stand up to an officer in this situation. To further complicate matters, police officers are allowed to search your person or property if they see any evidence of criminal behavior with probable cause. Another case in which a warrant is not needed is when an individual is being arrested and the officer believes that the person may be harboring dangerous items (such as weapons or drugs). Finally, if the police suspect that someone is being injured or harmed or that evidence of a crime is being destroyed, a search may be performed without a warrant. But if there is no probable cause or any other issue, individuals always have the right to refuse a search.

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If a law enforcement officer compels you to leave a vehicle on a traffic stop without asking for a license, it is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

In the 1977 case Pennsylvania vs. Mimms, the Supreme Court held that law enforcement officers are entitled to require the driver of a vehicle to exit their vehicle and that this can occur prior to the continuation of the traffic stop. In 1997, this was affirmed and expanded to include passengers in the case of Maryland vs. Wilson.

If a law enforcement officer searches your person during a traffic stop without asking for a license, it is not necessarily a violation of the Fourth Amendment, depending on the circumstances of the search.

A simple pat-down, if based on reasonable suspicion, is permitted as established in case law (Terry vs. Ohio). Further, if an officer has a warrant or probable cause, a more invasive search can occur, and presentation of a license does not need to be requested. For example, if a police officer pursued and stopped a car from the scene of a robbery she witnessed, she would have probable cause to search both the occupants of the vehicle and the vehicle itself; no license or other information would first—or, indeed, ever—need to be requested from the occupants of the vehicle.

A person who feels a search of their person or property may not be lawful should state clearly that they do not consent to a search. Beyond that, a person who feels that their rights were violated by a police officer should do nothing at the point of violation. In a plurality of states, statutory law establishes that resisting a search or arrest is a crime, even if the search or arrest itself is unlawful. The only recourse an aggrieved person has is to seek relief from a court.

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