In January of 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People v. Tavernier and followed the United States Supreme Courts ruling in Arizona v. Gant that a search of the passenger compartment after an arrest is reasonable, only if the arrestee is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search, or it is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest.

The Michigan Court of Appeals held that in this case, the facts known to the police officer at the time of the search, in addition to common sense (whatever that means), experience, training and the totality of the circumstances, it was sufficient to allow the search since driving under the influence of drugs was the offense of arrest.

English?…this means that if they suspect you are operating a motor vehicle after using drugs, be prepared for an all out assault on your vehicle.  However, if this had been a traffic stop resulting in arrest, the defense attorney may have had an argument to suppress the evidence.

If your criminal charge involves a motor vehicle, you have certain rights when it comes to a search. Contact Ray Purdy, a former Deputy Sheriff and prosecutor today for a FREE Michigan Driving offense consultation.