Refusing Consent to Search a Vehicle in Las Vegas

Refusing Consent to Search a Vehicle 

If you’ve been pulled over for a violation of NRS 484B.653 for reckless driving, NRS 484C.110 for driving under the influence or for another reason, the law enforcement officer may ask to search your vehicle. Like a lot of drivers, you might be unsure whether or not the officer has the right to this search whether or not you have the right to refuse.

The U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects you from illegal searches. Without a warrant, law enforcement searches are illegal. However, those boundaries shift when it comes to your vehicle. An officer who has probable cause to believe that you have some contraband or otherwise illegal substances in your car can request to conduct a search. You have the right to refuse this request, and if you do so, they cannot search your vehicle without a “pressing reason.” Without a pressing reason, they must have a warrant.

Police officers are adept at wording their requests to search your vehicle in terms that make it sound as if you don’t have the option to refuse. Don’t fall for this tactic. If you refuse to permit the search and the officer proceeds without consent, it may be possible for a criminal defense attorney to suppress evidence obtained during the search.