Consent to Search


When you have contact with the police it does not have to be negative.  Police are doing their job to keep the community safe.  Police are trained in ways to gather evidence through police tactics.  One of the easiest ways that police gather evidence is by getting consent to search. 

What is consent to search?

Consent to search is the police simply ASKING for permission to search: you, your car, or anything else that without your consent or permission they wouldn’t be able to search and if they did the search anyway would be considered an illegal search.  It really is that simple.  You just say no!  They might continue to ask to search you and you should tell them that your lawyer told you to NEVER consent to a search and it is your 4th amendment right to not consent to a search.   

As I mentioned, the police are trained to gather evidence and this includes tactics to get you to consent to a search.  Most of the time the police will ask for consent in ways that you might not even realize is asking.  

Examples include:

“Got anything illegal on you?”  You respond, “No.”  The policewoman then says, “Well then you don’t mind me checking real quick?”  This is an extremely common way of asking you that makes you think you will be in trouble if you refuse to let them search you.  Regardless of what you have on your person, you always have a constitutional right to say no to a search.  It is that simple.  

“Step out of the car and I’m going to do a real quick search of you to make sure you don’t have anything illegal on you ok?”  This tactic seems more like a command rather than asking for permission, but it is in the form of a question and if you say ok, that means you are agreeing to a search.  Again, it is your constitutional right to say no to a search. 

“If you have nothing to hide, you wouldn’t mind me searching, would you?”  The 4th amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the right to just say no!