Should you give police the consent to search?

getawarrantOver the last couple months I have represented a number of people who have given police consent to search their vehicle or home, and people who have had their home or vehicle searched by the police and then the officers state in the report that “the defendant consented to the search.”

I cannot understand why anyone, especially anyone with drugs in their vehicle, would allow an officer to search their vehicle. Honestly, I cannot understand why anyone, regardless of the circumstances, would allow police officers to invade their privacy and search their vehicle. This is because I do not believe that the vast majority of my clients actually consented.

This gives rise to two issues that must be addressed when it comes to consent to search.

First, do not allow a police officer to search your vehicle, period. I do not care if you do not have anything to hide or if you have two kilos of cocaine hidden in the bumper, DO NOT ALLOW A POLICE OFFICER TO SEARCH YOU OR YOUR VEHICLE! So how do you assert your rights in these circumstances? You will want to tell the officer “no” when they ask for consent.  The problem here is that when you do tell the officer “no,” they search your vehicle anyway, and then lie about your consent. This happens. This happens every single day. So how do you avoid this, or at least help your attorney suppress evidence gathered against your consent? When the officer asks for consent, ask if the conversation is being recorded, audio or video. If there is a video being made, shake your head indicating no consent to search you or your vehicle. If there is audio, simply say “no, I do not give you consent to search my person or my vehicle.”

The second issue is, if you do give consent to search the vehicle, you are basically allowing them to hold you there for an extended period of time. You are allowing them the opportunity to call in drug sniffing dogs while they search your vehicle. If the officers fail to find the cocaine in the bumper, the drug sniffing dog will seriously ruin your day.

The Law Offices of Lords and Cate have cards that state your right to refuse to answer questions and not consent to searches. I highly recommend that you contact us at (615) 714-1028 or (615) 241-0947 to pick up a couple. The benefit of having these cards is that as soon as the police start questioning you about a crime or you feel like you are suspected of a crime, you simply hand them the card and say “attorney.” This will invoke your constitutional rights and they will know who to call.