Typically, a traffic violation without any further evidence does not automatically allow the officer to search your car. However, if the officer runs your name and discovers that your license is suspended or there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, the officer may arrest you, then search your car under the ‘inventory search exception’ prior to the vehicle being towed. The officer does not need a warrant in that scenario.
In other instances, if the officer smells the odor of marijuana, the officer has the legal right to search the vehicle for any contraband. The driver and any passenger is then subject to a search of their person as well. Every case is different so you should call Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph Fasone to further discuss the details of your case.