New Supreme Court Case On Vehicle Searches

Discussion in 'General' started by IGetParanoid, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. The United States Supreme Court recently re-wrote the law on search and seizure regarding vehicles. Now, if a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation and then removes you from your vehicle and handcuffs you, he can not then go back into the car to search for drugs and guns (or any other evidence).

    The old law gave the officers the right to always search the passenger compartment of your vehicle after the arrest in order to look for guns or drugs (or other evidence) that could be destroyed. The logic was that the officers need to protect themselves and preserve any evidence that the arrestee might destroy. In the Supreme Court case of Arizona v. Gant (April 2009), Mr. Gant had an outstanding warrant for driving on a suspended license and that his license was suspended. When he was pulled over, he exited his vehicle and was immediately placed in handcuffs and then secured in the back of the officer's patrol car. The officer then went and searched Gant's car and found a firearm and cocaine in the passenger compartment.

    The Supreme Court held that the drugs and gun found in Gant's car should be suppressed because the officer did not have a warrant to search Gant's car. The prosecutors' argued that they could search Gant's car after they arrested him under the “search incident to arrest” rule of New York v. Belton. However, the Supreme Court said that, in Gant's case, he was in handcuffs and secured in the back of the officer's patrol car, there was no way that Gant could have grabbed a gun or destroyed evidence, so the officer was not allowed to go back into the car to search. Also, since the arrest was for driving on a suspended license, there was no reason to believe that evidence related to that crime would be located in the car. If the arrest would have been for a suspected drug or gun offense, then the search would have been valid as the officers could have searched the car for evidence relevant to the offense for which Gant was arrested. However, the court ruled that the “search incident to arrest” rule does not give officers the right to rummage through a suspects vehicle for every arrest they make.

  2. Very nice find. I will definitely keep this in mind.
  3. Quoted
  4. mmmmmm...rights
  5. Score one for the citizens!
  6. INteresting, but I'll bet you that they keep doing it.
  7. This is why locked containers (like locked trunks and locked glove boxes) are very important, since they are firmly out of plain sight and, by being locked, are unreachable.

  8. that would be useful to have for big ganja pick ups- a lock container thing
  9. I was expecting this too be some really bad news!

    :eek: What? Laws that actually benefit the people? That's crazy! :p
  10. My friend has a center-console that locks. Don't cops need a warrant to be able to search it?

    His current excuse is to just say that he doesn't have the key with him, we are planning on keeping all contraband inside of it.

    Is this smart? :eek:
  11. You don't need an excuse, "Sorry office you do not have my permission to search my car. You're going to need a warrant for that."

    Lying can get you in trouble. Invoking your rights can not.
  12. This is good, but I still doesn't protect you from the officer saying he smelled weed in the car and then going through everything.
  13. yeah i found this article too but for some reason i thought it was older. but this is great news cuz if you think about it, unless your pulled over and then your cop smells the puff you just took before he flashed his lights.

    but basically you can now ride around without fear of being searched and as long as you NEVER give concent to them looking then you are always free and clear. just dont put your shit in your pocket when they pull you over, and dont be affraid of their tactics of them getting a search dog or anything because this new law says they pretty much are obsolete.

    and dont be afraid of them arresting you for getting snippy with them saying no i dont want you to look in my car, cuz what are they gonna arrest you for? that tail light being out? that turn you didnt signal for? thats got nothing to do with guns or drugs.

    this means that there are a lot of cases, including my firends case that says that the judgement should be reversed because of their shenanigans.

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