Most courts rule that no reasonable suspicion is required prior to asking for voluntary consent to search a vehicle at a traffic detention. (United States v. Burton, 334 F.3d 514, 2003). However, the prosecution carries a heavy burden to show that the consent was truly voluntary (United States v. Flores, 48 F.3d 467, 1995).
When law enforcement stops a vehicle, mere questioning of the driver does not create a detention such that Miranda rights must be read to the driver. In the same way, asking a driver for consent to search a vehicle does not independently create a detention.
Understanding the lawfulness of a traffic stop and subsequent vehicle search requires a deep understanding of the Constitution and how it applies to specific facts of the case.
The good news is that you are not alone. The skilled criminal defense lawyers in California at Wallin and Klarich have assisted those charged with criminal offenses for over 30 years. Contact our law firm as soon you have been cited so we can begin to help you. Contact us at 1-888-280-6839, or visit our website, www.wklaw.com for more information. We will be there when you call.