New Search Rules
The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a ruling that modifies the search incident to arrest doctrine, rejecting a broad reading of New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981). In Arizona v. Gant, — U.S. —, 2009 WL 1045962, the Court overturned the search incident to arrest of Rodney Gant’s car after Gant was arrested for driving with a suspended license, handcuffed and secured in the back of a patrol car. With several officers at the scene, officers found cocaine in Gant’s car during the search incident to the driver license arrest.
The Court held that a search of the passenger compartment of a vehicle following an arrest is allowed “only if  the arrestee is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search or  it is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest. When these justifications are absent, a search of an arrestee's vehicle will be unreasonable unless police obtain a warrant or show that another exception to the warrant requirement applies.”
Be aware that something may have changed. We aren't sure this is an earth-shattering change, but it's another procedural hurdle to clear.
Labels: info for the police