Legal Question in Criminal Law in Ohio

Vehicle Search-- When is it legal?

My boyfriend was driving my car alone. He got pulled over for no front tags. He had an unknown warrant for another city for an unpaid speeding ticket, and was driving under suspention ,unknown, because of this. He was arrestted. Did the officers have the right to then do a complete search of my vehicle, and charge him with items found in the trunk?

Asked on 8/29/02, 10:40 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Brandabur Brandabur Law, LLC

Re: Vehicle Search-- When is it legal?

If the stop was legal, then the subsequent discover by the officer that your boyfriend's license was under suspension and a warrant exists, your boyfriend can no longer drive the car. Without the tags, the vehicle cannot remain on the street. Thus, the vehicle would be impounded for possibly the first reason, and definetly for the second. Depending upon the arresting officer's department policy for impoundment, he likely searched the entire vehicle, to include the trunk incident to impoundment. If this is the basis for the search, then it is legal. However, a Motion to Suppress would be a great way to find out, and the officer may screw up his testimony.

Have your boyfriend retain a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Good Luck.

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Answered on 8/29/02, 10:20 pm

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