An Exception Swallows a Rule: Policy Authority to Search Incident to Arrest
62 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2008
Date Written: 2001
Compared to Fourth Amendment jurisprudence more generally, with its well-earned reputation for complexity and variability, the search incident to arrest exception to the Amendment's warrant requirement would appear an oasis of consistency. The exception affords police an unqualified right to search anyone they arrest, without first obtaining a search warrant from a neutral judicial official. This right extends to the bodies of all arrestees, their area of "immediate control," and, if driving a car, the interior of the car and any containers located therein.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation