Can a police officer search vehicles you are transporting on traffic stop?

by Bianca
(Columbus Ohio )

When a truck hauling several vehicles is pulled over what rights do the drivers have for protection of their clients vehicles?

Is there any point in time where a police officer can search a vehicle on your load that doesn't belong to you?

I was assuming not since the owners of that vehicle have not given consent to have their property searched.

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Nov 29, 2015
It all depends...
by: Anonymous

...but to say that it is a "gray area" of the law is an understatement and definitely worth the undivided attention of a good judge and defense attorney.

A little off topic here, but yet somewhat close...

The CVSA has different levels and types of inspections. They are SUPPOSED to be used as a guide of "uniformity" throughout the States that are in Compliance.

NONE OF CVSA's inspection levels criteria include a "search" ....with that said, the trucking industry is definitely a "highly-regulated' industry which requires drivers and motor carriers to obtain, retain and present specific documentation when asked to do so.

Sometimes, because of a lack of these specific documents, the fourth ammendment is not in violation of a vehicle search.

But you see how complicated it can get? Unless YOU know the law, most people automatically "bow down" to law enforcement and uniforms "just because" when in reality, if they were more knowledgeable of particular laws, or laws pertaining to them in general, citizens and GP would find that many times, they do indeed have the right to refuse certain actions.

At this point, many L.E.O.'s , knowing they are in violation and abusing their authority, have a tendency to try to maintain their dignity and back-off a bit.

Administrative "inspections' cannot be used to initiate a "fishing expedition"... there has to be probable cause, and that officer can't just 'have' probable cause in his head, he has to be trained specifically and certified for it.

There is no real need, ever, for "probable cause" to allow a search of your rig. How this pertains to your cargo, I would have to investigate farther.

With NAFTA, one would assume it would be nearly the same.

See "United States v. Mendoza-Gonzales, 363 F.3d 788, 794 (8th cir. 2004) United States v. Fort, 248, F.3d 475, 480 -82 (5th cir. 2001) and United States v. Vasquez-Castillo, 258 F.3d 1207, 1210 (10th Cir. 2001)

Nov 29, 2015
Frieght is subject to search
by: Hervy

Don't know the facts on that. I would assume they could search it legally. If they couldn't, then it would be an easy way to transport anything illegal with no worries.

They can certainly open your trailer and inspect general freight which is also not the drivers personal property but the property of another person or entity.

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