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Name: Virginia v. Moore
Case #: 06-1082
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 04/23/2008
Subsequent History: 128 S.Ct. 1598; 170 L.Ed.2d 559
Summary

As a matter of federal constitutional law, when an officer has probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime in his presence, even a minor one, the arrest is constitutionally reasonable, regardless of the law of the state, and the subsequent search pursuant to the arrest is valid. In Virginia, Moore was stopped for driving on a suspended license and arrested. A search pursuant to the arrest revealed 16 grams of cocaine. Driving on a suspended license in Virginia is a citable, not arrestable, offense. As Virginia law does not require suppression of evidence obtained in violation of state law, Moore brought his suppression action as a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment does not incorporate subsequently enacted statutes and that the police did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they arrested Moore on the basis of probable cause rather than citing him. The search subsequent to the arrest was not invalid as it served the interests of safeguarding evidence and protecting the officers.