Can the Police Search Your Home Just Because They Find Drugs in Your Car?

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Does the fact that police officers find drugs in a car on a DUI suspect automatically mean that a search of the suspect’s home is warranted?  This was the question that the appeals court in California vs. Pressey decided in 2002.  In that case the police stopped Pressey for driving under the influence (Vehicle Code 23152) and found marijuana and methamphetamine in his car.  The arresting officers then used this information to obtain a search warrant for his home.  There, they found substantial quantities of both methamphetamine and marijuana. Following an exhaustive search of relevent case law, the appellate court concluded that probable cause to search the residence of someone suspected of using illegal drugs requires more than an opinion or inference, available in every case, that drugs are likely to be present.  In other words, illegal drug use does not necessarily provide probable cause to search the user’s residence. Unfortunately, despite this ruling, the court refused to throw out the warrant.  Instead, it concluded that, since a reasonable officer  have believed that the affidavit presented a close or debatable question on the issue of probable cause, the “good faith” exception applied. As a side note, the rule is different for drug dealers.  Proof that a person is selling drugs will normally justify the inference that additional drugs are likely to be found where he or she lives.

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty five years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV regarding license suspension hearings stemming from drunk driving arrests.
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1 Response to Can the Police Search Your Home Just Because They Find Drugs in Your Car?

  1. Kate says:

    You must receive an unrddgraeuate degree from an accredited university or college. (B.A. B.S.E. B.S.) Not an A.A. but a 4 year degree. You then must be accepted to Law school which takes 3 years. It doesn’t really matter what your unrddgraeuate degree is in, although research and writing heavy degree will help you most. Law schools don’t care at all what its in though and they will not factor it into admissions. The most important thing is that you get a very good GPA and a high LSAT score. Getting in is not easy, you must do very well in college.All in all it takes 4-5 years for unrddgraeuate degree and 3 years for the law degree, then the Bar Exam so you are looking at 7-8 years if everything goes perfect.

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