Stop and search is the authority granted to police in England and Wales to search an individual or vehicle if they have "reasonable grounds" to think the person is carrying illicit narcotics. The reasonable grounds test is not specifically defined by law but courts have interpreted it as being based on common sense considerations such as the amount of traffic being carried by the person, the location where they are found, and whether there is any evidence that the person has been involved in other crime.
Police can search anyone, including children, suspected of committing a crime. Searches can be done at any time, even if you are under arrest. Your consent is not required unless the police want to conduct an inventory search of your vehicle, which means checking all its compartments to make sure there are no stolen items inside.
Generally speaking, the police can search anything within the immediate control of the suspect. This includes cars, vehicles, containers, packages, and bags. It does not need to be lawfully owned; if it is readily accessible and may contain evidence of the offense, then it can be searched. For example, if a thief were to break into a locked garage and hide their belongings inside, the police could search the garage and find evidence of crime.
However, not everything in your car can be searched.
A police officer has the authority to stop and search you if they have "reasonable grounds" to think you are in possession of:
The police have the authority to stop and search you if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe you have committed a crime or are in possession of a forbidden item. Drugs, weapons, and stolen goods are all prohibited things. Officers can also search you if they have reason to believe you may be suffering from a medical condition that would make you vulnerable to the effects of drugs or alcohol.
If the police decide to search you, there are several reasons why they might do so. For example, if an officer finds a knife in your pocket during a pat-down he could take you into custody for carrying a weapon. If the officer feels like it could be harmful if you were allowed to go free, he would have no choice but to take you into custody.
While in custody, officers may search you without violating your rights. For example, an officer may conduct a body cavity search if he believes you have drugs hidden inside your body.
The fact that the police have the legal authority to search you does not mean that they will always do so. An officer may have other duties to perform or may simply feel that searching you is not necessary. When this happens, they should tell you why they did not search you.
An officer who searches you without cause should never deny your right to remain silent.
Only with a search warrant may the police stop and search you. They have cause to believe that you have done or are about to commit a criminal. Reasonable grounds for a search cannot be based on an officer's gut sense or intuition. The officer must have specific facts that support his or her conclusion that there is probable cause to search.
In addition, under California law a search warrant cannot be issued based solely on information from a reliable confidential informant. There must also be independent evidence establishing probable cause for the search.
Finally, even if there is probable cause to search, the police still need to get permission from a judge in order to execute the search warrant. The judge can deny the request if he or she believes it would be too dangerous or futile. For example, if the police were to go into someone's home without a search warrant and start shooting at something they might find, the judge could decide this was not a good idea and refuse to let them continue.
In conclusion, a police officer can search your home only with a court-approved search warrant. If the officer has reason to believe that you have committed a crime, he or she can stop and search you. The officer cannot just make such decisions on his or her own.
You can only be stopped and searched without reasonable grounds if a senior police officer approves it. This can occur if it is feared that major violence will occur. Officers may also approve searches when they have reason to believe that someone has committed an offence against the Terrorism Act 2000. However, even if this has not been approved, officers still need "reasonable suspicion" that you have committed an offense before conducting a search.
Reasonable suspicion means there are specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably suggest that you have committed or are about to commit a crime.
If reasonable suspicion exists, officers can stop and search you. However, even if no reasonable suspicion exists, officers must have "probable cause" to arrest or search you.
Probable cause means there is a reasonable belief that you have committed an offense. It does not need to be correct or more likely than not to be true. All that is required is that officers have reason to believe that you have committed an offense.
For example, if an officer believes that you have been drinking alcohol in public, this would be sufficient reason to stop and search you. Even if you had not actually consumed any alcohol, it would be enough for officers to conduct a search of your person.
Ordinarily, the police can only stop and search you if they have "reasonable reasons." If you flee or refuse to stop when told to do so, you are committing the crime of obstructing police and may be arrested. Police cars have lights on them that can be seen for miles around, so anyone who sees them running should call 911 immediately.
In England and Wales, there is a good chance that anyone fleeing in a vehicle from police will be caught. The police can use all-round vision cameras mounted on their vehicles to follow your car and identify you. They can also use statistical tools to estimate where you are likely to be based on the locations at which previous crimes were committed. Finally, officers can check public records to see if you have any outstanding warrants against you.
If you are found guilty of obstructing police, you could be sentenced up to 14 days in jail or a fine of £500 ($750).
To avoid being arrested, it is best not to resist arrest or try to escape. If you are already being arrested, asking why or telling the officer no comment is not going to help you out.
However, if you feel like you cannot go home again, there are different strategies you can use to escape arrest.
Naturally, public collaboration is an important component of this. "Stop and search" is most commonly used in public settings. However, there are some authorities that allow police to search persons anywhere, such as while looking for guns or narcotics.
Police can conduct searches without obtaining a warrant from a judge if two conditions are met: First, the search must be done pursuant to a law enforcement officer's authority to enforce the criminal laws. Second, the search must be based on reasonable suspicion that the person searched is involved in criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion exists when there are specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the intrusion into the privacy of a person's life.
In general, police officers are allowed to search anyone who they have reason to believe may be carrying illegal items. This includes pedestrians stopped at traffic lights, passengers in vehicles pulled over by police, and even people found walking down the street.
However, not all people who are searched by police officers will have their constitutional rights violated. For example, police officers are permitted to search your belongings if they have reason to believe they might find evidence of a crime. These searches include looking inside your purse or backpack at any time during your encounter with police.