LMPD Found a Stolen Car and Drugs in Prospect
Two men were recently arrested in Prospect. When the police arrived on the scene to investigate the situation, LMPD found a stolen car and drugs (including heroine and crystal meth). Other items were also found and appeared to have been stolen.
For these two defendants, better planning would have been to their benefit. When you’re in possession of a stolen car and drugs, the last thing you want to do is to stand around just because the car is having mechanical problems. It’s unclear as to whether the LMPD cruiser just happened to be in the area or if one of the defendants actually called to report the car’s problems.
This story provides a good reason to discuss probable cause and illegal search and seizure. As an experienced Louisville criminal defense attorney, one of the facts I work to determine is the answer to why the police actually pulled someone over in the first place. Did they have “probable cause”?
What is Probable Cause?
Now, in the above story the car was already stopped, but let’s discuss probable cause. As a citizen, you have rights. Police generally can’t simply pull you over and begin searching you or your vehicle. There has to be a reason which would cause them to suspect something is going on even if they may not know exactly what it is. This is also known as a “reasonable and articulable suspicion.” Simply put, that means, spelling out what was going on and why they believed a crime had been committed.
However, if someone would reasonably believe that a crime was, is or will be committed, that’s “probable cause.” You can be pulled over, frisked and even arrested.
If they have probable cause to pull you over and they find drug paraphernalia in your vehicle (including your glovebox or trunk), that could still be a legal discovery of evidence, depending on the facts. Let’s be clear, if you’re driving a stolen car, once the police run the plates and determine it’s stolen, they have probable cause.
Should I Give Permission?
There are times when the police and criminals simply end up in the same area at the same time. If a police officer asks your permission to search your vehicle or its contents, you do not have to give permission. If you consent to letting them search, whatever they find is admissible evidence.
If you feel your rights were violated, you have the right to an attorney. If you want a good attorney, remember you could have access to me. Justice also means fairness under the law. Remember though, that doesn’t mean justice is cheap. If you are involved in a crime, even if it is one involving a stolen car and drugs, you’ll want an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.