AJ 4 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Lago Vista, Texas, Frisking, United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
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Search Incident to a Lawful Arrest
Search Incident To A Lawful Arrest: an exception to the search warrant rule, limited to the
immediate surrounding area.
● Incident means close in time to an arrest. The officer who searches a suspect incident to a
lawful arrest must: (1) conduct search at the time of or immediately following the arrest
and (2) may search only the suspect and the area within the suspect’s immediate control.
The arrest will be upheld if the police observed the crime being committed or had
● Chimel v. California 1969: the police can search a suspect without a warrant after a
lawful arrest to protect themselves from danger and to secure evidence.
● Riley v. California 2014: it is illegal to search the cell phone of an arrestee without a
● Carroll v. U.S. 1925: distinctions should be made among searches of cars, persons, and
homes. A warrantless search of a car is valid if the police have probable cause to believe
that the car contains evidence they are seeking.
● U.S. v. Aruizu 2002: multiple factors and patterns of suspicious behavior allows a search
of a car.
● A pure vehicle search is one in which the police seek to search a car without regard to
whether the car is being driven by a person.
● U.S. v. Ross 1982: with probable cause, police can search an automobile without a
warrant, including any containers within.
● Michigan v. Long 1983: police can frisk a driver and search the passenger compartment
of a car following a valid stop, provided they have reasonable suspicion that the driver
poses a danger.
● Arizona v. Gant 2009: if a motorist is arrest, police may search the vehicle only if it is
reasonable to assume the arrestee could access the vehicle or the vehicle contains
evidence of the offense of arrest.
● Pennsylvania v. Mimms 1977: during routine traffic stops, officers can order drivers out
of their cars and frisk them.
● Maryland v. Wilson 1997: during routine traffic stops, officers can order a passenger out
of the vehicle and frisk them.
● Brendlin v California 2007: passengers, like drivers, are considered seized during traffic
● Whren v US 1996: the reasonableness of a traffic stop does not depend on an officer’s
initial motivation it depends only on whether there was justification to stop the vehicle.
Pretext does not matter.