Legal Tips and Resources
You may or may not be familiar with search warrants and how they work. Typically, to enter an individuals’ home you will need a search warrant, unless otherwise given permission to access the property. This is not always the rule for motor vehicles, however, in the case of a motorhome, or an RV there may be a bit of a confusion deciphering the difference between the two. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to search a vehicle they may very well do so without a search warrant. For example, if an individual is on the road and is failing to maintain their lane, they may be pulled over by a police officer. When the police officer stops him or her, there may be signs of driving while under the influence. The police officer may then ask the driver or passengers to step outside of the vehicle and perform a search for any drugs or alcohol. This is perfectly fine, and legal. If the same were to happen in a home, say for example there are complaints about loud noise due to a party you are having. The officers are not allowed to enter the property to search for minors that may be drinking as well, unless permitted by you or unless there is a search warrant. Knowing this makes it tricky for a motorhome and knowing your rights.
In most cases, a court may rule that a motorhome does not require a search warrant much like any other motor vehicle because it is more of a vehicle than a home in many ways. It may be argued that because a motorhome can relocate at any moment, waiting for a search warrant like in cases for home that do not relocate, is impractical. For these reasons, a motorhome has an automobile exception when pertaining to search warrants. Therefore, like a regular motor vehicle, all that is needed is probable cause, and police officers can in fact search your motorhome. There are sometimes many stipulations to the rule, and police officers are human also and liable to mess up as well. If you feel, however, that your rights were somehow violated in a search of your motorhome, or if you have come to face criminal charges because of the search that took place, contact a skilled Decatur criminal lawyer defense in the area that the offense took place, as soon as possible.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and search warrants for a motorhome.