Can I be arrested if my car was repossessed and marijuana was found by the tow truck driver whoturned it in to the police?

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Can I be arrested if my car was repossessed and marijuana was found by the tow truck driver whoturned it in to the police?

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could be arrested:

1) All the authorities need to arrest you is probable cause--basically, that you probably committed a crime. Finding marijuana in your car doesn't prove it's yours (so you might not be convicted, without something more), but it likely is enough for an arrest.

2) The constitutional protections against warrantless searches do not apply to the actions of private parties; so if the tow truck driver searched your car and turned the marijuana over to the police, it would be admissible.


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