As yet another Tesla passes you on the interstate, you may find yourself wondering when every car will be self-driving. With any technological advancement comes new legal challenges, especially in the criminal world, and one question that has arisen recently is whether it is constitutional to search driverless cars.
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it is unconstitutional to unreasonably search or seize persons, houses, papers, and effects without a warrant. This right is also in Minnesota’s constitution under Article I, Section 10.
From reading the texts, it would appear that searching a driverless car would be like searching any “effect” of a person—that is, it must be a reasonable search or there must be a warrant issued. However, this specific issue has not yet reached the courts, so it remains to be seen how this particular aspect of criminal law will unfold.
As with all areas of criminal law, there are many nuances when it comes to searches and seizures. If you are facing criminal charges or worried that charges may be forthcoming, reach out to one of our attorneys to discuss your options.