After reading the posts I've decided to put in my 2 cents worth. Generally, law enforcement needs a search warrant to do searches, but there are certain ways that a search can be done without a warrant. And these have been upheld by the supreme court. The major one around not having a search warrant does involve automobiles. It involves exigent circumstances. Without getting in a lecture of search and seizure, it basically means that if one has probable cause and because of the circumstances surrounding it, you don't have time to obtain a warrant, i.e. the vehicle being movable, the delay in time of obtaining said warrant goes past the reasonable amount of time to conduct a traffic stop, a search can be made and will be legal. Granted, this will be brought up in court and the officer better have all his "I's" dotted and "T's" crossed because the scrutiny of this search will be extreme.
And yes Smitty there are bad LEO's out there that give us LEOs that think of our job as an honorable profession a bad name as there are also bad military members that do the same. It is that way in all professions. I'm taking it by your avatar that you were/are in the military, and if so I thank you for your service. I try not to let comments get to me because a lot of what people see about law officers are when the main stream media does an article on what some idiot does wrong, very rarely they show what a good officer does everyday.( Sorry for the rant, this is one of those days it hit me wrong and this is not meant to bash Smitty in any way, I don't even know him. I'm sure he is a good person) But with that being said I have over 25 years in law enforcement and I tell my family that if a LEO asks to search their car they do not have to submit and I know my kids have nothing to hide. But I know as well as everyone else there are bad officers out there and don't want to have to go through the hassle. I hopes this clears up some on the question asked.
I have the utmost respect for all people, especially LEO, a relative is "the canine officer" in a close town, and I have only been searched a few times, granted I was a "bad person" then, and the locals knew i was a bad guy, now that that chapter is closed, I have nothing to hide, was just wondering becouse of a claim i saw on a vaults webpage, stating taht "a search warrent was needed to open their vaults in California..
To all LEO and soldiers out thier, and their families, I harbor the utmost respect, and have have "the best southern raised manners you have ever seen".
Where I came from, the two or three officers that gave me the most trouble, even thou I deserved it, were all busted in a "police escort for drug dealers" called "Delta blues police sting"..
Wow, just four days ago one of the officers was sentenced to 30 months in priosn, for escorting a known drug dealer, while in police car, and turns out dealer was informant,,,hmmm, yes there are good LEO and and bad, just like anything, damn now my dander is up.