Is It Legal to Search Bicycles Without a Warrant ?
"Probable cause to justify a warrantless search of an automobile 'must be based on objective facts that could justify the issuance of a war rant by a magistrate . . . ." ( People v. Carrillo (1995) 37 Cal. App. 4th 1662, 1667 [45 Cal. Rptr. 2d 16], quoting United States v. Ross (1982) 456 U.S. 798, 808 [102 S. Ct. 2157, 2164, 72 L. Ed. 2d 572, 583].)
In determining probable cause we must make a "practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the circumstances . . . there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place." ( Illinois v. Gates (1983) 462 U.S. 213, 238 [103 S. Ct. 2317, 2332, 76 L. Ed. 2d 527, 548].)
Bicycles, like automobiles are subject to similar pervasive schemes of regulation which lead to reduced expectations of privacy by the public. When operated on a highway, bicycles are subject to duties applicable to a driver of an automobile. (Veh. Code, 21200.)
There are minimum safety standards that bicycles have to meet. (Veh. Code, 21201, 21201.5.) and bicycles, where required by local ordinance, are subject to registration and licensing requirements. (Veh. Code, div. 16.7.)
"The exception has historically turned on the ready mobility of the vehicle, and on the presence of the vehicle in a setting that objectively indicates that the vehicle is being used for transportation. . . . Applying the vehicle exception in these circumstances allows the essential purposes served by the exception to be fulfilled, while assuring that the exception will acknowledge legitimate privacy interests." ( California v. Carney, supra, 471 U.S. at p. 394 [105 S. Ct. at pp. 2070-2071].)