Can the police search my car without a warrant?

by Aaron Black • December 21, 2011

It is possible for the police to search your car without a warrant. In the past the police had to make an arrest before they could be legally be authorized to search a vehicle. A Supreme Court case ruling in 2009 changed all of that.

If the police have probable cause to believe there is illegal contraband in your vehicle they may be able to search it. The police are also allowed to look through the windows of your car and if they see something illegal they can search the vehicle.

The police still must have probable cause to believe that there is something illegal in the car however, they must obtain a warrant if no urgent circumstances exist. Also, if you find yourself in a situation where your car gets towed they will automatically conduct an inventory search prior to it being towed which documents what is in your car before it’s taken to the impound lot. So rest assured if they tow your car, it will and can legally be searched.

Every case is different. If you have been arrested and your car was searched contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney immediately. Please consider contacting the Law Office of Aaron Black. I have built my career defending clients accused of criminal offenses in Phoenix and I understand that facing charges can be complicated and a confusing event in your life.

I look at my job as a check and balance on the Police, Prosecution and the Courts. I truly enjoy protecting my clients so that they don’t get convicted of a crime by the government with undue haste. My main focus is on the fact that we all have Constitutional Rights and I’m proud that I can guarantee my clients’ Rights are protected while in the court system.

Unlike many large firms that take on as many cases as possible, I will personally stand by your side to protect your constitutional rights. If your vehicle has been searched without a warrant, contact Criminal Defense Attorney Aaron Black today to discuss your case or call 480-729-1683 for a free consultation.


In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to inform clients and potential clients I am still available for consultations. I am always available by phone, text and/or email. We can also use Facetime for social distancing. The criminal justice system is not stopping due to COVID-19.

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