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Pa. Court Rules on Warrantless Vehicle Searches

May 15, 2014  | 

Photo: Mark W. Clark
Photo: Mark W. Clark

The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court ruled last week that police are allowed to search vehicles without a warrant. The state General Assembly, meanwhile, is moving forward with a bill that would give cops the authority to arrest people caught with “secret compartments” in their vehicles, even if there is nothing illegal in those suspicious containers.

Philly.com is reporting this will give greater authority to police and prosecutors but less privacy for Pennsylvania drivers.

The split-decision from the Supreme Court allows police to conduct searches of cars based only on probable cause — that is, as long as the officers conducting the search have a reason to believe there are illegal goods or evidence of a crime hidden inside the vehicle.

Related: Consent Searches

Tags: Vehicle Stops, Search and Seizure, Pennsylvania Laws


Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/15/2014 8:59 PM

I read the link first. I figured there had to be more to this.

Their State Supreme Court stated to search your car they only need probable cause. Which is all they need under the US Constitution which makes me wonder why they need a redundant ruling in their State Supreme Court. The higher court has already ruled on this and probable cause is the national standard.

There is a proposed law in PA making it a crime to have a secret compartment in any vehicle but there is no definition what constitutes a secret compartment. Also just having the secret compartment alone is the crime and there doesn't have to be anything in it. I can see a major Supreme Court Case and several civil law suits in Pennsylvania's future.

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