Legal Question in Criminal Law in Kansas

can the police dismember your car during a routine traffic stop? I ask this because i was pulled over due to a headlight that was never out. the officer came to the vehicle said it smelled like pot. he then removed me from the vehicle search me and placed me and cuffs.(i had nothing on me) after that he said he was going to search the car and needed to know if there was anything in the vehicle he should know about. I told'em i had a pistol in my name under my seat with the clip out. He removed my friend placed me in the patrol car and begain to search. he found nothing. at this point he search again with the k-9. found nothing. after the k-9 left he came to the patrol car and told me he was going to search one more time and if nothing was there i would be released. Thats when he tore my c.d player out of the dash dismembered my middle consel and 30 min later he had a bag of pot. i was arrested. never was pointed out my missing light they let my friend drive to belton mo.

Asked on 12/09/09, 11:33 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sean Santoro Santoro Law Office
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No, the police cannot dismember your car during a routine traffic stop. Having said that, they can search your car if you give them permission, incident to an arrest, or if they have a warrant. Assiming they did not have a warrant or your permission, the police can effect enough of a search incident to an arrest to ensure the officer's safety. It sounds like the police may have exceeded their authority here. Feel free to email me if you want to discuss this in more detail.

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12/14/09, 11:08 am

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