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If a police officer wants to search my car, my home, or my person, do I have a choice?

 

Thomas Soldan: Yes, but it depends on the circumstances. It often depends upon the specific circumstances in which you encounter law enforcement. If it’s a situation where the encounter is consensual, then a person has the ability to decline or refuse to allow their person, their possessions, or their home to be searched. If the officer has a search warrant, that’s a different scenario. Refusing to obey a valid search warrant could result in an arrest for obstruction of justice, so that’s something you want to be aware of. Additionally, if you’re being searched because the officer is stating that there is probable cause, then law enforcement is going to continue with their actions despite your potential disagreement.  That does not mean you need to consent to the search but it does mean that the search may happen against your will.

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