Skip to content
Name: United States v. Smith
Case #: 04-50046
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/23/2004

Appellant challenged the search and seizure of counterfeit money from his vehicle. The vehicle was stopped originally for speeding. When appellant stated that he did not have any identification with him, he was asked to get out of his car and walk to the patrol car. When officers questioned him regarding his identity, appellant gave them information which did not match information received from the CHP. Officers searched the vehicle, finding a fake driver’s license, and an actual identification card issued in appellant’s real name, which was not the name he had given to officers. Appellant was arrested for falsely impersonating another. He gave his wallet to the officers, who discovered counterfeit bills in it. The officer subsequently went back to the vehicle, discovering additional counterfeit bills on the floor. The appellate court here concluded that the search was a valid search incident to arrest because, at the time of the search, officers had probable cause to arrest appellant, and the search was roughly contemporaneous with the arrest.