Can my case be thrown out due to lack of probable cause?
Question Details: A friend and I got pulled over because she did not have her seat belt on. She was driving; I was the passenger. She did not give consent to search the vehicle but the police had us both step out and searched me. They found small amount cannabis and paraphernalia. They charged me with this but she was never cited for her seat belt which is the reason we were pulled over. Did they not have probable cause?
Probable cause refers to whether they had reason to pull over and search at the time they pulled over; whether or not the authorites choose to charge your friend later had no bearing on whether they had probable cause at the time. So while you can attempt to challenge on this basis, the mere fact that your friend was not charged for the seatbelt does not by itself mean there was no probable cause.
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