Supreme Court Limits Auto Searches Incident to Arrest
The Supreme Court today decided Arizona v. Gant, the case many defense lawyers have anxiously been awaiting. And, it's good news.
The Supreme Court today sharply limited the power of police to search a suspect's car after making an arrest, acknowledging that the decision changes a rule that law enforcement has relied on for nearly 30 years.
In a decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens, an unusual five-member majority said police may search a vehicle without a warrant only when the suspect could reach for a weapon or try to destroy evidence or when it is "reasonable to believe" there is evidence in the car supporting the crime at hand.
The Court didn't completely overrule Belton v. New York, but said it has been misapplied by courts. [More...]
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