Can police search my car even though I locked it before they pulled me over and arrested me?

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Can police search my car even though I locked it before they pulled me over and arrested me?

I was arrested for DWI for the second time but I think the first one might have been expunged. I locked the car before they pulled me out but reached into my pocket and took my keys out after yelling I do not give concent to search the vehicle and peformed a search. They also took my blood when I refused to blow saying they had a warrent but did not show it too me after asking to see it and asked to see my lawyer. They found marrijua in the car and also charged me with reckless driving.

Asked on November 25, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

Anthony Van Johnson / VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, L.L.C.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under normal circumstances, a law enforcement officer is required to obtain either a consent to search or a warrant prior to searching a vehicle.  One of the exceptions would be a vehicle inventory incident to an arrest.  Part of the reasoning associated with the vehicle search incident to an arrest is to prevent the vehicle owner from falsely accusing the officer or some other individual from stealing property from the vehicle which was not actually inside the vehicle.  Once an arrest is made, the vehicle is usually towed.  The Court has found that it is legal for the officer to inventory the vehicle, and any contraband that is found in the vehicle once an arrest has been made is fair game for prosecution.


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