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Who can give consent to search a vehicle?
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Who can give consent to search a vehicle?

the owner of a vehicle gave my friend permission to drive his car, he was pulled over and the cop said he smelled marijuana, even though that was not even possible because there had been no marijuana smoked in the vehicle before, and there's no way he could have smelled it if it was in the passengers pocket, when the cop was at the drivers side window when he supposedly smelled marijuana. the officer asked the driver if he could search the vehicle for marijuana, the driver gave consent for the police to search the vehicle. marijuana and paraphernalia was found. so what i'm asking is who has to give consent, the actual owner of the vehicle, or just the driver? was this an improper search and seizure since the driver, not the actual owner of the vehicle gave consent?
also the police frisked the passenger, without the passengers consent, and searched through his wallet and found a marijuana roach in one of the pockets in the wallet. do the police have the right to search through the passengers wallet?
Additional Details
the officer inserted his hands into the pocket of the passenger and pulled out everything in his pockets and searched through it all, including the wallet


If a cop "smells" marijuana, he already has authority to search the car based on probable cause, it's just easier to ask for permission. The cop has then legally detained the vehicle and everyone inside it, and for officer safety purposes may conduct a pat for weapons on everyone in the vehicle. If subsequent illegal narcotics are found through this pat, it is legal as long as he did not insert his hands into the pockets, unless given permission from the subject. Hope that helps.

The driver can give permission to search the car. The consent was pretty much secondary, from your story, because the officer smelled marijuana anyway...whether or not you think he could is irrelevant.

Frisking the passenger is one thing - it can be done without permission, when the officer is checking for weapons that may pose a threat to his safety. Searching the passenger's wallet is another. Whether or not that was correct depends on a more detailed sequence of events, which you don't have here - so I can't say if that was proper or not.

The driver can give consent no matter if he owns the vehicle or not. If he does not give consent, the police can then search the vehicle if they see anything out in plain sight or if they have reason to believe the driver or any passenger is under the influence. I say just give them consent and plead out later...if you are not smart enough to borrow a clean car and you get into trouble...it's your own fault.

Live Free or Die
First of all you can smell marijuana if it wasn't smoked in the car. If you had a bag of it in a house and didn't smoke it I can find it by smelling it and I'm not a drug smelling dog.

Secondly the driver can give permission not the owner unless the owner is there. The driver gave consent so the party is over on the illegal search and seizure case,but had consent not been given then the police would have had to wait at the scene for a judge to send out a search warrant and the same thing would have happened.

By letting the cops search and being honest and respectful once in a while you might get off with a warning if you have a clean wrap sheet and are not carrying a lot of it.

The driver can give consent to search the vehicle.

If the officer said he smelled pot, he doesn't need anything further. He has probable cause to search the vehicle. Didn't even need to get consent from the driver. Since he found some the argument that he couldn't have smelled it from where he was relative to where the pot was will not stand up in court.

Brandon N
Once you give consent they can search the vehicle or if they have probable cause. They can search a person without reason.

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