As relayed to me a driver was supposedly told that this was indeed how it worked. I could not extract what other factors may have been left out of the telling of the event that might have explained the search request. But, Having been stopped for a burned out headlight, the officer supposedly requested to search the car and, on general principals, the request was refused. The driver was then supposedly told that if he did not allow the search, a supervisor would be called who would arrive with a warrant, the driver would be arrested, the vehicle impounded, and then it would be searched anyway. Again, supposedly, no reason was given for the original search request, but the refusal of the search request was sited as giving the officer probable cause to carry out the threatened arrest and impounding, and subsequent search. Knowing that police are allowed to lie, I could only suggest that perhaps it was just that, a lie to “encourage” compliance. The driver is a senior citizen who sometimes can look a little unkempt but not overly so.
In this case it worked, the search was granted, nothing found, and the driver was on his way again, if not a little upset by the experience.
The implication was that refusing a search request, in it self, generated probable cause.
Is that possible? or must there be something more to it?