The constitution upholds every person’s right against unlawful and invalid searches and seizures. In general, there might be a need for a warrant to be able to effect a valid search, such may however be done without one in a vehicle search. The 1925 case of Carroll v. United States however gave rise to the Carroll Doctrine which states that a vehicle could be searched without a warrant if there was probable cause to believe that evidence is present in the vehicle, coupled with exigent circumstances to believe that the vehicle could be removed from the area before a warrant could be obtained. It would be proper therefore to attack the validity of the search by pointing out the fact that there was no probable cause in the situation.
Probable cause in a search and seizure is when there is a reasonable ground for a prudent man to believe that the place being searched, in this case a vehicle, has the contraband items that are sought. Moreover, the requisite of exigency of the matter shouldn’t be discounted. It should be proven that it was so important and that time was of the essence in that there was no more time to secure the necessary search warrant. The authority of the searching officer should also be questioned because only those competent officials, may be allowed to do a valid vehicle search, assuming the other requisites being present. The officer’s authority should be clear and unquestionable, and such should be made known to the persons inside the vehicle before the search is to be conducted. Finally, in a search of a moving vehicle, the plain view doctrine applies. For the plain view doctrine to apply for discoveries, the three-prong Horton test requires the officer to be: 1.) lawfully present at the place where the evidence can be plainly viewed, 2.) the officer must have a lawful right of access to the object, and 3.) the incriminating character of the object must be “immediately apparent.”
Therefore, absent any of those earlier mentioned, the search inside the moving vehicle shall be considered invalid.