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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: Can Police Search My Vehicle

    He was within "reaching distance" of the passenger compartment when arrested though, one prong of par. VI at my post 17.

    Quote Quoting yoder440
    View Post
    Wow your a lot of help , everyone seems to forget that there must be probable cause for any action. The officer can't just keep digging in hopes he may find something he must have probable cause. If this probable cause turns something up that deems further search or arrest then fine but he Must have cause first. To many people are giving police way more power than the actually have.
    Assuming arguendo it was indeed a valid "search incident to arrest", NO probable cause is needed to search, that is just one exception to the warrant requirement.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: Can Police Search My Vehicle

    Quote Quoting RJR
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    He was within "reaching distance" of the passenger compartment when arrested though, one prong of par. VI at my post 17.
    That one prong is not sufficient, by itself, to justify a search of the vehicle under Gant. You forget the key holding to Gant in that the items sought during the search must be relevant to the offense for which the suspect was arrested. It's not a blanket permission to search.

    From the CA Attorney General:

    "In Gant (2009) 129 S.Ct. 1710, 1714, the Supreme Court restricted the Belton "incident-to-arrest" rule for vehicle searches. Now, as to vehicles, a search incident to arrest is not allowed if the arrestee has been secured and is not within reaching distance of the passenger compartment--unless there is reason to believe that the vehicle contains evidence of the arrest offense."

    And, from the syllabus of Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009) at Supreme.Justia:

    "Held: Police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a recent occupant’s arrest only if it is reasonable to believe that the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest. Pp. 5–18"
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: Can Police Search My Vehicle

    That confirms what I stated. Gant was already in the police car where he had no access to the passenger compartment and the police searched after he was secured. The OP was at the passenger compartment, UNsecured. Now, I know Gant dealt with a traffic stop and what followed, but IMO it was a lawful search incident to arrest.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: Can Police Search My Vehicle

    Quote Quoting RJR
    View Post
    That confirms what I stated. Gant was already in the police car where he had no access to the passenger compartment and the police searched after he was secured. The OP was at the passenger compartment, UNsecured. Now, I know Gant dealt with a traffic stop and what followed, but IMO it was a lawful search incident to arrest.
    According to the OP he was out of the car when the police arrived. The arrest was for some sort of interfering. No grounds for a search within the "lunge distance". Gant clarified the Belton rule by establishing the two prong test for a search of the vehicle incident to arrest:

    (1) an arrestee could gain access to the passenger compartment of the vehicle, or
    (2) it would be "reasonable to believe" that evidence relevant to the arrest offense could be found in the vehicle.

    While we can only speculate as to whether spokeandriver could gain access to the car since it is not stated when he got out of the car or how far from it he had been standing when contacted, it seems unlikely that the second prong could be met as what evidence of delaying an officer might be reasonably expected to be found in the passenger area of a motor vehicle?

    There may be specific law in WA that makes this more or less lawful, but, given that states can make federal standards stricter, they cannot relax them. So, if the issue is Gant by way of Belton/Chimel, (Belton (1981) 453 U.S. 454.; Chimel (1969) 395 U.S. 752.) then it would seem to me that there does not appear to be good cause for a search incident to arrest.

    That is not to say that there did not exist some OTHER probable cause for the search, it just does not appear that a search incident to arrest would be the most appropriate here. But, we do not know all of the facts, and likely never will since the matter will never be litigated since there was no evidence found and a lawsuit is unlikely.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Can Police Search My Vehicle

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    I suppose it depends on what you mean buy the term, "Digging." To us, it means asking questions, watching, listening, smelling, and generally snooping as we can.
    Which all has to be done in a timely fashion.

    I don't know WHY they searched it, so I can't say they were out of line and neither can you. I see it as less likely that they had probable cause than that they did, but since I was not there, I can't say for sure.
    All we can ever go by here is a situation occurring as the OP's tell it. If we assumed things were being left out, we'd never be able to respond to anyone here accurately.

    There are things that can be done including the potential for a lawsuit, but rare is the attorney that will expend his own time and resources for a lawsuit where there are no articulable damages. Even a federal suit with a nominal award can be a longshot and not too many attorneys are such idealists ... they have to pay rent and support themselves and their families. But, yeah, there are options if you think you were subject to a wrongful search: personnel complaint to the agency or a board or agency monitoring the agency, go to the media, hire an attorney, etc.
    Is being sued all that matters when cops do an illegal search? Doesn't right or wrong affect a policeman's actions?

    Not to me. I find that many people have enough info to get it all wrong and THINK they have it right, but, that's been MY experience. "I know my rights ..." <sigh>
    So your observation is that when people try to learn their Rights, they are incapable of being taught and that most cops dwarf them? That is not true by a long-shot! Here is an example of a teenager schooling a seasoned officer who tried to BS them with fake laws and got his ass handed to him. https://youtu.be/Yj6YXF5qh7w One of the most embarrassing lessons a cop could encounter. He will never approach those kids again.

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