Legal Question in DUI Law in New York

Open container police looked through purse

Hi, quickly, my friend parked in the unloading only lane at the airport, picking me up. When she returned there were two cops. They tested whether she was sober, which she was, and talked about the open beer cans in her car, which she was bringing to the recycle center -- there were more than a dozen wrapped in a bag. Finally, they looked through her purse while she was still inside. Are they allowed to go through a purse? Is that considered private property, which you need her consent to look in her purse? any help would be appreciated.

Asked on 4/05/08, 11:36 am

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Open container police looked through purse

The laws governing search and seizure are very complex and dependent on very detailed facts which you have not provided.

If your friend was not under arrest and the purse was not within her reach it's questionable whether or not they had grounds for opening the purse without consent. However, the answer may also depend on the airport and the type of police that were involved. Airport searches are an entirely different breed of intrusion as opposed to a regular street search.

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Answered on 4/05/08, 12:13 pm

Robert Evans Robert S. Evans esq.

Re: Open container police looked through purse

Much more info is necessary before rendering any opinion or advice. This area of law is very complicated and requires some research. Where and how the search took place are determinitive factors.Have your friend contact my office for a free phone [email protected]

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Answered on 4/06/08, 10:52 am

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