Can the police search my car without a warrant?
Generally, a police officer can search your car without a warrant. But what they do need is, what’s called in the law, is probable cause. In other words, they have to have some reason to think that there’s something illegal going on, they just can’t search your car because your car’s blue and they don’t like blue or because you’re a minority and they are there trying to target a minority. They have to have a valid reason. One we hear all the time, and I’m always suspicious that it’s true, but “I smelled an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle”. So they have to have a reason to search that car. So, A: they need to have probable cause, or they need consent. A police officer can come up to say, “Hey you, I just want to search your car. I don’t have a particular reason, I just want to.” You can give them consent, and they’re allowed to search—they don’t need a reason. So always be aware, and be careful about giving consent.