No, police are not authorized to search your car on the sole grounds that the owner has a prior drug conviction. In order to justify a warrantless search of a car for drugs, police will need to establish probable cause to believe that drugs are located inside the car. The officer could establish probable cause to search the car by observing drugs or paraphernalia in plain view or by detecting an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Also, if police have reasonable suspicion that the car may contain drugs, they can briefly detain you in order to have a drug detection dog walk around the outside of your car. If the drug detection dog alerts the officer to the presence of drugs in the car, police would have established probable cause to justify a warrantless search of the car. The only other way police could search the car of an owner with a prior drug conviction would be if the owner consented to the police search.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug offense based on illegal car search, you will need an experienced drug defense attorney to defend your rights. Call drug defense attorney Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website for more information on defenses to drug crimes at www.criminallawyerminnesota.com.