CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

DISCUSSION 11

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a vehicle contains small concealable items, such as drugs, jewels, or rare coins, to what extent can he or she search the vehicle without a warrant under the Carroll doctrine? Can the upholstery be ripped open? Can the vehicle be dismantled? Can the tires be taken off to look inside them? Can pillows, radios, clothing, and other potential containers be dismantled or ripped apart?  

 EXERCISE 11

Assignment Prompt

Debate the following: If officers have probable cause to search a vehicle stopped on the highway but no probable cause to arrest the passengers of the vehicle, can they search the passengers also? Are the passengers containers under the ruling of the Ross case? Does the answer depend on the nature of the evidence for which the officers are looking?  

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