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Flashcards in Ops-41 inventory and veh searches Deck (7):


Inventory and Searches of Motor Vehicles


What is the policy for search and inventory?

Search - policy of this department to conduct motor vehicle searches that are both legal and thorough.
Inventory - motor vehicle inventory is designed to protect motor vehicles and their contents while in police custody


What is a motor vehicle?

Any vehicle operating or capable of being operated on public streets or highways to include automobiles, trucks, trailers, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, motor homes and any other type of vehicle, whether self-propelled or towed.


What is a search?

An examination of all or a portion of the vehicle with an investigatory motive


What is Legal Authority to Inventory

An authorized member of this agency may conduct a motor vehicle inventory without a warrant or probable cause



Vehicle Searches May Be Conducted Whenever feasible, a warrant shall be obtained for the search of a motor vehicle. Warrantless searches are to be conducted only when lack of time or other exigencies make it impractical for officers to obtain a warrant. When a vehicle has broken down, or there is otherwise no significant chance the vehicle shall be driven away or that evidence contained within it shall be removed or destroyed, the vehicle should be searched only after a warrant has been obtained. In other cases, vehicles may be searched:
1. when probable cause to search the vehicle exists;
2. with consent of the operator;
3. incident to an arrest of the occupants of the vehicle;
4. to sweep for weapons;
5. when necessary to examine the vehicle identification number or to determine the ownership of the vehicle; or
6. under emergency circumstances not otherwise enumerated above.


What is the Responsibility of Initiating Officer

An officer initiating a vehicle search shall be responsible for ensuring that it is conducted in accordance with this policy. In the event that the vehicle search is conducted under a warrant, the officer shall ensure that the execution of the warrant is properly reported to the issuing court or other authority. The officer shall also be responsible for making any other reports regarding the search that may be required by law, policy or procedure.