After an officer gives (cites) me a speeding ticket, do I have to consent to a search?

No.

Norman Nissan was stopped by a local Camden Law Enforcement Officer for traveling 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. At the officer’s request, Norman hands the officer his license and registration.   Moments later, the officer hands Norman a Speeding Ticket. Finally, the officer asks permission to search Norman’s car.

Why not?

Generally, Norman should not consent to a search of his automobile. If the officer has Probable Cause or believes more likely than not Norman has committed a criminal offense and Norman has evidence of the crime in his car, the officer will not need Norman’s permission to search. Norman should receive his ticket, and respectfully deny the officer’s request, and ask “Am I free to leave?”

***Note: If Norman was charged with a Misdemeanor, the officer would have probable cause to search his car incident to the arrest. ***

If you feel your car, home, or person has been illegally searched and you’ve been charge with a criminal offense, you should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney in your state.

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