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Law Enforcement Search of Vehicles Narrowed

Law Enforcement Search of Vehicles Narrowed

New search and seizure law requires law enforcement officers to limit their search of a vehicle incident to arrest, to areas within the immediate control of the person arrested for weapons and only for evidence of the crime for which the person is being arrested.  When defining what constitutes immediate control, the Court states the area from within which a person might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence.  The case in question, involved a person arrested for driving with a suspended license.  He was handcuffed and locked in the back of the patrol car before officers searched his car and found cocaine in the pocket of a jacket on the backseat.  The arrest took place after the individual had exited his vehicle. He was 10-to-12 feet from his vehicle at the time the officer ordered him to stop.  Because the individual had no access to the vehicle at the time of the arrest, being 10-to-12 feet away from the vehicle and no evidence regarding the charge of driving with a suspended license was likely to be found in the vehicle, the cocaine seized was suppressed (Arizona v. Grant, 129 S.Ct. 1710 (2009)).

2011-05-04T01:06:50+00:00