Supreme Court: Pennsylvania cops no longer need a warrant to search citizens’ vehicles

Thursday, May 1, 2014
By Paul Martin

By BRETT HAMBRIGHT
LancasterOnline.com
Thu May 1, 2014

Pennsylvania police officers no longer need a warrant to search a citizen’s vehicle, according to a recent state Supreme Court opinion.

The high court’s opinion, released Tuesday, is being called a drastic change in citizens’ rights and police powers.

Previously, citizens could refuse an officer’s request to search a vehicle. In most cases, the officer would then need a warrant — signed by a judge — to conduct the search.

That’s no longer the case, according to the opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.

The ruling, passed on a 4-2 vote, was made in regard to an appeal from a 2010 vehicle stop in Philadelphia.

Local police and legal professionals are calling the opinion “big news.”

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