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Is A Search Without A Warrant Legal?

One of the well-known warrantless searches allowable is the search of an automobile. The reasoning is that the vehicle could be moved and the police would lose whatever evidence might be inside.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled in at least one circumstance, police must first obtain a warrant before searching a motor vehicle.

While the police were investigating a hit and run involving the death of a young girl the police obtained a description of the striking vehicle. They later located the vehicle meeting that description parked in a private driveway. The police seized the vehicle from the private driveway.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that because the vehicle was parked in a private driveway a search warrant would be required before they could seize the vehicle. A vehicle parked in a private driveway does not give the police exigent circumstances to search or seize it without a warrant.

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