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Name: People v. Leal
Case #: H031174
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/29/2009

Where the suspect has been immobilized and removed from the scene, and no one else is present, a search that is incident to arrest does not justify a search of the area the suspect occupied prior to the arrest. Police officers, who had prior information that appellant might be armed and using drugs, went to appellant's residence to serve misdemeanor arrest warrants. Forty-five minutes elapsed before appellant opened the door and stood at the threshold, at which time he was arrested. He was handcuffed and placed in a patrol vehicle and the police did a protective sweep…

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Name: U.S.v. Lemus
Case #: 08-50403
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/22/2009

Under the "protective search incident to the arrest," exception to the Fourth Amendment, police can search an area immediately adjoining the place of arrest. Police officers went to appellant's residence to arrest him pursuant to a warrant. One of the officers was familiar with appellant, having previously conducted a probation search of appellant's residence where drugs were found. He also knew that appellant was a member of a group involved in a drive-by shooting and that some of appellant's relatives had been arrested for violent crimes. Appellant was arrested at the sliding glass door that led to the living room.…

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Name: Arizona v. Gant
Case #: 07-542
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 04/21/2009
Subsequent History: 129 S.Ct. 1710; 173 L.Ed.2d 485

Following the recent arrest of the occupant of a vehicle, police do not have carte blanche to search the car. The constitutionality of a search will depend on whether it is reasonable to believe the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest. In this case, the Court, distinguishing the facts from those of New York v. Belton (1981) 453 U.S. 454, rejected a broad reading of Belton, thereby recognizing the motorist's privacy interest in his vehicle. Police officers, investigating an anonymous tip that…

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Name: People v. Diaz
Case #: B203034
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/30/2008
Subsequent History: rev. grant 10/28/08 (S166600)

Seizure of incriminating text message after arrest was lawful. About an hour after his arrest for sale of Ecstacy, at the sheriff's station, appellant Diaz's cell phone was seized. Diaz denied participation in the offense. While Diaz was being interrogated, a detective retrieved the cell phone and searched the text message folder, finding a message that said "6 4 80." The officer interpreted this to mean six ecstacy pills for the price of eighty dollars. When confronted with the text message, Diaz admitted the offense. The trial court found that the search was incident…

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Name: United States v. Diaz
Case #: 06-30029
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/22/2007

Where government agents had reason to believe appellant was home, there was no Fourth Amendment violation when they entered the home with a valid arrest warrant and seized property. Government agents had a valid warrant to arrest Diaz, and went to his home to arrest him on the one weekday afternoon they had reason to believe he would be home. When he did not respond, they broke through the door and entered the house, but found no one home. Inside the house, the agents discovered and seized incriminating evidence. The district court denied Diaz's motion to…

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Name: United States v. Lopez
Case #: 05-30347
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/12/2007

A warrantless arrest requires probable cause which is defined as under the totality of circumstance known to the arresting officers, a prudent person would have concluded that there was a fair probabilty that the subject had committed the crime. It is an objective standard. If probable cause has dissipated after the arrest, the subject must be released. Here, the police had been shot at by a hispanic male who fled in a car that the police were able to describe with specificity. Several hours later, the police located the car and observed Lopez drive up and…

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Name: United States v. Paopao
Case #: 05-10653
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/10/2006

The appellate court affirmed a criminal judgment imposed by the district court following appellant's guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). The court held that the government may argue for the first time on appeal that a defendant lacks standing to challenge the protective sweep of an illegal gambling room from which police seized the defendant’s handgun. Appellant cannot challenge the officers’ entry or protective sweep because he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the gambling room, a commercial establishment in which he neither worked nor…

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Name: People v. Rodriguez
Case #: B186661
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 10/10/2006

Police officers stopped appellant's car allegedly because of a burnt out brake light. There was no traffic citation, but officers ran a warrant check and found an outstanding warrant for appellant. During a search incident to arrest on the warrant, officers found methamphetamine. At the hearing on the suppression motion, appellant's employer stated that when he picked up the car from impound, the brake lights and tail lights were operational. The trial court ruled it didn't need to decide whether the police fabricated their testimony concerning the brake light because any taint arising from the unlawful…

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Name: United States v. Weaver
Case #: 04-50608
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/10/2006

Appellant Weaver was driving a vehicle, with her son and Herron as passengers. Herron was recognized by police who knew that he had outstanding warrants. The officers stopped the vehicle to arrest Herron. Appellant refused to consent to a search of the car. The officers called for a third officer to be present at the scene for the search. The officers found stolen checks in the car. The appellate court affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a vehicle search. The court held that the…

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Name: People v. Rege
Case #: E036180
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/15/2005

A search of an area immediately accessible to an arrested person is reasonable even after the arrest is concluded. The defendant argued that items seized in a search incident to her arrest should have been suppressed because at the time the search took place, the area searched was no longer accessible to her because she had already been arrested. The court, over one dissent, held that the search did not violate the Fourth Amendment because the search was reasonably contemporaneous to the…

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