Due to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling last week, police will no longer need a warrant to search a vehicle.
Additionally, the state General Assembly is moving a bill forward which would grant police the authority to arrest motorists caught with ‘secret compartments’ – whether or not there are illegal contents.
A conviction upon the discovery of an illegal compartment (or contents such as guns, drugs, or people) could carry up to a $10,000 fine and 5 years in prison.
This decision by the Supreme Court was split with a majority ruling 4-2. The ruling will allow vehicular searches to be conducted based on probable cause, so long as officers have reason to believe that they will find crime evidence or illegal goods.
These rulings are intended to efficiently combat the problematic smuggling route between Florida and New York.
Ohio has a similar law against ‘secret compartments.’