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WHAT IF THERE IS AN ILLEGAL ITEM IN "PLAIN SIGHT?"

"Plain sight" is an exception to the warrant requirement. In New Mexico, even if something is in plain sight, if it is not dangerous, officers still have to go get a warrant, but they can seize the car temporarily while they go get a warrant, and then retrieve the item in plain sight. But, I would still not consent to let the officer search your car.

When officers get a warrant, sometimes there are problems with the process. They may have said something that was incorrect, or they misrepresented information. It may be that they left things out they should have kept in, and you can challenge that warrant later on in court. But, if you consent to let the officer search your car, there is nothing to challenge later if you allowed it to happen, because you provided them what they needed without a warrant.

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McGraw & Strickland, LLC
165 West Lucero Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Phone: 575-523-4321
Fax: 575-680-1200
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