Can the police search my car at a traffic stop?

The Supreme Court has given the police carte blanche to search your car if the stop is lawful.

 

The Supreme Court has gone so far as to say the police can search your car because you drove without your seat belt on.

 

They can search your car incident to arrest. They can search your car as an inventory search. They can search your car for a host of reasons.

 

The bottom line is this: if an officer has any legal reason to stop you, he can search your car. The days of expectations of privacy in an automobile are long gone.

 

The only chance you have of suppressing the search is if the stop itself was unlawful.