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Can a cop legally search your purse?
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Can a cop legally search your purse?

A few months ago I got busted smoking marijuana. I'm 15 and the cop searched my purse without asking me. I admitted to smoking the weed but the only weed I had on me was a little bit in the bottom of my purse. I had cigarettes and lighters but that's all. There was 7 of us there. All of us were minors except one. I've been told that a cop has no right to search you if you're underage without a parents permission. So I guess I'm just curious to know if it's true. Then the cop sat there and was making fun of me because of how stoned I was. Basically calling me stupid because I didn't know what something meant.


No, he cannot. The cop can only search your purse with your permission or a permit.

Jimmy Whispers III
One minute he is calling you stupid the next he is doping out in his patrol car with his cop friends. Thats life. A purse is fair game if it was on your persons. A purse in your car is a different story.

Also once you admitted to smoking weed your car and all possessions become fair game.

Not without a warrant.

James Ford
They didn't search you, they searched your purse. And they can do it legally.

Well.. in your case this was "probable cause." In other words if your or someone in your immediate area has broken the law, the police has probable cause to secure everything that is apart of the immediate area. (Including Yourself) - this is why a police could have you to place your hands behind your back and place handcuffs on you, place you in the back of his patrol car. - all of this and tell you that you are not under arrest but this is just for the safety of the officer and yourself.

So.. again I say.. probable cause. Probable Cause along with Safety are powerful strategic tools that are loosly used.

You admitted to smoking weed. You gave him probable cause.

Don't smoke weed in public next time.

Instant Karma - Just Add Water
If you were evidently stoned and he smelled marijuana on you he had "probable cause" to believe you had been smoking marijuana and were in possession. When he has probable cause, he can search your purse, your person, your premises, your car... basically anywhere a reasonable police officer would think you might be hiding stash.

If you had not presented him with probable cause, he could not legally search you.

You heard wrong.

You were caught smoking marijuana, which is a crime. Police are allowed to perform searches incident to an arrest according to Chimel v. California (1969)

This rule permits an officer to perform a warrantless search during or immediately after a lawful arrest. This search is limited to only the person arrested and the area immediately surrounding the person in which the person may gain possession of a weapon, in some way effect an escape, or destroy or hide evidence.

You were arrested for smoking marijuana, you were legally searched. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

Yes since he had caught you with weed, a search of the purse would be warranted under a pat and frisk search for other evidence within the immediate area.

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