Note: This article is a continuation of St. John’s County Florida Counterfeit Currency Bust and Stop and Search of St. John’s County Florida Criminal Defendant’s Vehicle by a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer.
When examining a St. John’s County Florida Counterfeit Currency Arrest, or any other criminal case that involves the stop and search of a vehicle, a St. John’s County Criminal Attorney should evaluate the search and seizure. Did the St. John’s County Police Department have probable cause to stop the vehicle? This will be based on the description of the vehicle and the knowledge that they had prior to stopping the vehicle. If so, did the police have grounds to search the vehicle? In order for a police officer to search an person’s vehicle, the officer must have a warrant or be entitled to search under an exception to the Florida warrant requirement. The exceptions to the warrant requirement include the following:
- a search incident to a lawful arrest;
- the automobile exception;
- the “plain view” exception;
- the person gives consent; and
- the hot pursuit/emergency exception.
Based upon the fact that investigators stated that the driver “allowed” the search, I believe that the St. John’s County Police Department will argue that the St. John’s County Criminal Defendant driver consented to the search, which made the search valid. However, there are always two sides to every story, and it will be interesting to see if the driver was merely acquiescing to police authority.
If you have been in a similar situation and believe that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or other law enforcement personnel have exceeded the scope of the law, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to review your case and to make sure your rights are being protected.