Written by: Christopher Yotz
No, no, no, no, no!
If that wasn’t plain enough I’ll say it again. No, you do not have to consent to a search nor should you. Attorneys see the opposite of this all the time. A situation where the officer has no basis for a search so they just ask for permission, and get it. If you consent to a search, you are waiving your fourth amendment rights against unreasonable searches and you take away one of the possible items an attorney can use to help you later. Don’t do it. It will not make you look innocent by agreeing to a search. It simply gives the police evidence they didn’t have to work for.
Please note that I am not saying you should fight the officer, argue or try and prevent them from searching. You simply say, no. If the officer intends to search then they will search. But, by saying no you have a chance for your attorney to fight the search in court.
If the officer asks why you won’t agree to the search then you can either refuse to answer or state that you will not waive your constitutional rights under any circumstances. (Please see my blog entry about whether you have to answer questions by the police).
So, back to the beginning. If the police ask for your permission to search you, your car or house the answer is? (Everyone together now), NO!!