If the reason for the stop is a minor traffic offense like speeding, the officer likely wouldn't be permitted to search your car without more reason.
When are police allowed to search my car without a warrant?
However, if police arrest you for conduct arising out of a traffic stop, a search of your vehicle incident to arrest will usually be allowed. If the police have towed and impounded your car, they have the authority to search your vehicle. This inventory search can be as comprehensive as the police wish, and will most likely include opening any locked compartments or boxes found within your car. The reason why your car was towed and impounded doesn't matter.
It could be for something as simple as a parking violation or as serious as a car theft. However, police cannot tow and impound your car for the sole purpose of conducting a search. Police are required to follow strict procedures when it comes to these types of searches.
If you've seen enough episodes of Cops , you might think that police can search your vehicle anywhere and anytime. That's not the case, and if your vehicle is unlawfully searched, it could prevent a prosecutor from using any evidence obtained from that search against you. Reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you to challenge any illegally obtained evidence and to present your strongest defense at trial.
If the officer lets you leave, do so immediately. If you are not free to go, you are being detained.
Stop and question: police powers
The officer might have some reason to suspect you of a crime, and you may be arrested. I would like to see a lawyer. Never rely on police to inform you of your right to remain silent and see a lawyer.
Repeat the magic words as necessary, but say no more. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. So how can I keep police from searching my car? Ohio: The Exclusionary Rule www.
Supreme Court Changes Law on Vehicle Searches - The International Union of Police Associations
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The law now is, following a traffic stop, if a police officer has probable cause that a vehicle contains contraband, like illegal drugs or a gun, they can search a car without a warrant. Now that was the standard federally but not in Pennsylvania, traditionally the Pennsylvania constitution provided a person with a higher level of constitutional protection.
Basically there is no prohibition against a state providing a higher level of constitutional protection to its citizens, there is only a prohibition against providing less protection than the US Constitution provides. Police can search your car.