Identify two instances where a vehicle search without a warrant would be reasonable?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A law enforcement officer is entitled to search the property or person of any citizen if they have probable cause to believe a crime is being or has been committed.  So if an officer sees someone wearing a ski mask driving away from a bank at a high rate of speed, stopping and searching the vehicle is reasonable.  If an officer noticed white powder near the nose of the suspect, he/she has probable cause to conduct a search of the vehicle for drugs.  If a drug dog "hits" on the car, that would be considered probable cause.

The other instance would be if an arrest is made.  Say you are pulled over for speeding, and everything is legal except there is a warrant out for your arrest on issues unrelated to your driving.  Since you are in custody, the officer can search the car for anything illegal without a warrant.

maddieo20 | Student
Probable cause would be necessary either because of suspicious behavior or seeing something that would give them reason to question a person . For example if they saw blood they could search
elmk99 | Student
An officer is given probable cause is based upon factual information and not suspicion alone. The common law standard for probable cause is that the evidence must show that it is likely a crime took place and the person being accused is involved in the criminal activity. Therefore, if an officer pulls a car over because it is swerving uncontrollably, he would have made the observation that the driver is possible intoxicated. He has the right to pull them over because they were driving uncontrollably which is illegal in itself, once he pulls the driver over and notices that the person appears to be in a state of impairment due to drug usage, he would have the right to search the car for drugs.