Skip to main content

If I am not doing anything illegal, should I just let the police search me?

Whitney S. Boan Protecting Your Right

Video Transcript

You have a constitutional right to not allow the police to search you where they have not obtained a warrant to do so, or they don’t have some other legally justified probable cause. However, if you’re being asked to give your consent to search, you should not give that even if you think that you were innocent for fear of exposing yourself to things that may cause you to be charged with a crime, even if your are actually and factually innocent. In other words, the police may have a different perception or belief about what may or may not have occurred, and even allowing them to search you, even if it’s something that’s not contraband that they find, in their mind it may support a criminal charge that they’re trying to pursue against you. The best rule of thumb is if you have any doubt, to call a lawyer immediately, or to exercise your constitutional right to refuse a search that has been asked as far as your consent, and you have not given it.