When Can the Police Search Me or My Car?

Sometimes Police will ask people they have pulled over if the can search their car, and the person thinks that the Police are allowed to and so just agrees. This is not the case, the Police can only search your car if they have a legal right to and just because you were speeding does not mean they can search your car.

You should not just agree to the Police searching your car, but ask why they want to? Unless they have legal grounds to search your car, you can and should, say no.

If you agree, anything they find can be used as evidence against you. And remember, you do not know exactly what is in your car, it could be possible that a friend has left something in your car which will get you in trouble that you don’t even know is there.

If incriminating evidence is found in your car the Police might assume it is yours. So the best thing to do, is not let the Police search your car when they ask unless they have a lawful reason to.

Generally speaking, the Police can search you when: 

·  you agree

·  they have a warrant

·  they have arrested you

·  you are in a public space that has been declared a 'designated area'

Or if they reasonably suspect: 

·  you have illegal drugs

·  you have things that can explode or ignite

·  you have guns or weapons like knives, imitation guns or knuckle-dusters etc.

·  you are in an area where a lot of violent crime happens (they can use this fact to show they have reasonable grounds to search you)

·  you have something that could be used to make graffiti, for example, spray paint, gouging tool or even a texta

So unless any of these reasons apply, you are better not to let the Police search your car.

If you believe that you have been illegally searched by Police, you should speak to a lawyer straight away.