The answer to this question can be a little tricky. If the police say that they are planning to search you, then you should cooperate with the search. However, if the police ask whether you are agreeing or consenting to be searched, then you should say “no.” However, please remember to stay calm and respectful and to avoid escalating the situation or making it worse.
In some circumstances, the police may already have a warrant to search you, which means that a judge has already approved the search. Usually, however, the police will want to search you without a warrant. If the police have “probable cause,” then they are allowed to search you. Sometimes the police will ask you whether you agree to the search, because if you agree to the search then it will usually be upheld even if it turns out that the police did not have probable cause.
If this happens, then it is a good idea to clearly and respectfully tell the police that you do not consent to be searched. You can simply say “I do not consent to this search.” Again, if the police decide to search you anyway, then you should cooperate with the search. Otherwise, you could be accused of “resisting, delaying or obstructing peace officers…who are performing their official duties.” (Penal Code section 148(a)(1).) But even if the police choose to go on with the search without your consent, your clear and direct statement that you do not consent to the search could be helpful later in court.
If it turns out that the police did not have probable cause to search you, then an experienced criminal defense attorney like Mr. Rios can help you file a motion to suppress evidence based on an illegal search.