Police Can Ransack Your Vehicle Without Your Presence?

police check car for drugsA Tampa man is upset after returning to his expensive, decked out business truck after a concert to find it had been broken into and trashed. When he read the 2×3 scratched out note attached to the truck, he was most surprised to see that it was from Tampa police.

WFLA News Channel 8

Sir, your car was checked by TPD K-9. The vehicle was searched for marijuana due to a strong odor coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. Any questions call Cpl Fanning.

That was the only notice left behind. Of course, no drugs were actually found.

Unfortunately, they ripped out the very materials he needs to run his business – like horns that no longer work and expensive electronics. And they are going to fight any legal attempts for compensation.

The department says it was legal, but an attorney said it’s an illegal search and only allowed under extreme, urgent circumstance.

Attorney Bryant Camareno said:

It’s an illegal search. Usually if it’s some kind of unoccupied vehicle there has to be some level of exigent circumstance to justify searching a vehicle without a search warrant. Exigent could mean if there is a dead body inside, if there is a screaming child locked in the car, a dog but if the car is unoccupied there is no exigency to justify the search.

Notice none of those circumstances involves the necessity of a preemptive search for a potential crime but rather instances of saving a life and handling a killer who has already committed a crime.

Raise your hand if you think the “exigent circumstance” was getting their paws inside that sweet ride?

Amanda Warren’s article appears courtesy of Activist Post.

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