Is refusing to let the police search me an admission of guilt?
You know, it’s amazing how many times people that are in possession of contraband of any kind, whether is counterfeit currency, drugs, weapons, give permission to the police to search when they are asked to do so because they think, gee if I do that the police won’t really search, because they’ll think that I’m innocent, and I have nothing to hide. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In my opinion, you should never give permission to search even, even if you know you’ve done nothing wrong! You don’t know what’s in your car. You don’t know what was left in your car by someone else, or your kids, or your kids friends. You don’t know who touched your car, for example, valet parking, and if, for example marijuana was left in it.
When I argued before the United States Supreme Court on a very significant search and seizure case, it involved the consent to search a car. The U.S. Supreme Court held that consent to search a car, is consent to search all closed but unlocked containers in the car, so a purse, a briefcase, a paper bag, they can all be searched. Why would you give consent? If the police had probable cause, they would search it without your consent.
If they ask, I think, you should politely say no. Why? Number one, the odds are you won’t be charged with a crime because you’re not giving consent, and number two, you’re standing up to protect and defend our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. We have a Fourth Amendment. It should mean something.