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NSW Criminal Law - Vehicle Search by Police Officer

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by James Matheson, 17 November 2015.

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  1. James Matheson

    17 November 2015
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    This may sound like a basic question, but I have been unable to find a conclusive answer. Does a police officer stating that he smells drugs in your car, constitute enough grounds under criminal law for probable cause and thus a vehicle search?
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

    28 April 2014
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    "Probable cause" is a term better known to American television than to policing in NSW.

    In NSW, the law talks about "reasonable grounds to suspect". Suspicion is a rather lower measure than "belief", so it doesn't take much to raise a suspicion.

    The Stop, Search, and Seize powers are (mostly) described in the
    Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.

    One take-away thought...

    Police seem to have this mysterious super-power to smell mull on the clothes, or in the cars, of young blokes, and their mates, who get smart-mouthy with the police.

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