Supreme court ruling on search incident to arrest

The billiards operator agreed. The telemarketer sent a runner to pick up the donation and the police met him there, arrested him and found a gun in his possession. He was charged with a g violation possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Because the defendant had not violated the ordinance, however, there was no probable cause to arrest him and the search incident was improper.


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The evidence should have been suppressed. When the police come to the door to arrest the person who lives in the house, a search incident to arrest inside the house would only be permissible if the arrest occurred inside the house and police were lawfully in the house. If, however, the police come to the house and after the defendant opens the door, the police barge in and make an arrest, the entry was unlawful and the ensuing search would be illegal.

State officers were given verbal authority by a probation officer to arrest a probationer for violation of the terms of probation.

- The Washington Post

After arresting him, the officers received permission by the probationer to go into his room and retrieve his wallet. While in the room, they discovered a gun. He was prosecuted in federal court for possession of the weapon. Because the arrest by state agents was illegal under state law the police need a written order to arrest a probationer, not verbal authority , and because the search was sufficiently linked to the unlawful arrest, the evidence should have been suppressed. The federal court looks to state law to determine if an arrest by a state officer for a state offense is lawful.

Ker v. California , U. The State of California does not permit a custodial arrest based on an infraction such as selling corn-on-the-cob without a license. In this case, the state agents arrested the defendants and then during a search, discovered counterfeit currency. The federal government could not use the evidence because the search incident to arrest was invalid insofar it was predicated on an illegal arrest under state law.


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The defendant was stopped by a police officer who suspected that he was driving with a suspended license. The suspect was placed in the patrol car. The government contended that this was a lawful arrest and the search of the car was permissible under the search incident to arrest doctrine.


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  6. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, holding that this was a lawful Terry stop, which does not authorize a search incident to arrest. The search of the automobile was improper and the Motion to Suppress should have been granted.

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    The defendant was arrested, handcuffed and placed in a patrol car. The court initially concluded that it was not an inventory search because the subjective intent of the officers was to conduct a search for evidence rather than to conduct a search to inventory the contents.

    The court further concluded that it was an improper search incident to arrest because of the amount of time which had expired between the arrest and the search, the inaccessibility of the car to the defendant at the time of the search, and because the defendant was handcuffed and removed from the car at the time of the search. Defendant was arrested for driving with a suspended license. The car was parked in a gas station and the defendant was taken away. The police then inventoried the contents; the officer removed the cover of a speaker in the door panel and located cocaine.

    This was not a proper search incident to arrest, nor a proper inventory search. It could not be a search incident to arrest, because the defendant had already been taken away in a patrol car. Chadwick , U. This was not a valid inventory search, because searching inside speakers in door panels is not standard police procedure. The defendant was arrested for purchasing a gun by a convicted felon. Following his arrest and being handcuffed, the police searched some plastic cases which were found in the bedroom of his house.

    They claimed the search was necessary under the exigent circumstance exception and as an incident to the arrest. The first rationale was untrue because the police officers spent two hours inventorying the entire house and exhibited no particular fear for their own safety. The search was also not justified as an incident to arrest because the defendant was already handcuffed and taken into custody at the time that the police officers conducted a search of his bedroom and the containers found therein.

    Under Maryland v. Buie , two types of searches for people are permissible in connection with the arrest of a suspect: 1 a search of areas adjacent to the scene of the arrest, regardless of any likelihood of finding evidence; and 2 a search of other areas where there is a reasonable suspicion of finding someone who poses a threat to the officers. In this case, the officers, while looking in adjacent areas, discovered a gun clip.

    This did not authorize the officers to look behind a window shade, or under a mattress, because in neither location were the officers likely to discover any other person who posed a threat to the officers. The gun found behind the window shade, therefore, should have been suppressed. Defendant was arrested on an Amtrak train after a dog alerted to his luggage. He was handcuffed, removed from the train and brought to the Amtrak security office where he was handcuffed to a chair.

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    The officers then contemplated what to do and after consulting with an AUSA, they decided to open the luggage. The opening of the luggage occurred at least thirty minutes after the arrest. This was not a valid search incident to arrest. The luggage was in the exclusive control of the police. However, the car could be forfeited and thus an inventory search was proper.

    Riley v. The Officer looked inside the plastic bag and discovered a powdery substance, later determined to be heroin.

    What Exactly Can We Do In Light Of Gant?

    The court first begins by an examination of the warrantless search exception, a search incident to arrest. Though relatively close in location from one another, an arrestee seated in the backseat of a police car is not within immediate control of his or her item placed on the trunk of that same police car. Carrawell , however, still permits a warrantless search incident to arrest when another exception, such as exigent circumstances exists.

    Exigent circumstances exist when a delay to obtain a warrant would risk life, permit flight of a suspect, or risk the destruction of evidence. The search incident to arrest standard has been refined in Missouri law.

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    To determine whether a warrantless search incident to arrest is constitutional, careful consideration must be given to the proximity of the arrestee and the item to be searched. Ellis, S.

    Search Incident to Arrest

    The Missouri Supreme Court recently refined the standard for a law enforcement search of a person incident to arrest. The refined standard abrogates a series of Missouri Appellate Court decisions that permitted law enforcement more authority in searching a person incident to arrest. Derrick Carrawell was yelling obscenities at police officers in a neighborhood.

    Carrawell was carrying a white grocery bag. A struggle ensued and the Officer demanded Carrawell to drop the plastic bag. Eventually, the Officer was able to rip the bag from Carrawell. The Officer looked inside the plastic bag and discovered a powdery substance, later determined to be heroin.

    The court first begins by an examination of the warrantless search exception, a search incident to arrest.