The court's 5-4 decision today effectively limits the authority of police to search a vehicle immediately after the arrest of a suspect.
Justice John Paul Stevens said in the majority opinion that if a car's passenger compartment isn't within reach of a suspect who has been removed from the vehicle, then police have little reason to rush to a warrantless search.
The decision backs an Arizona high-court ruling in favor of Rodney Joseph Gant, who was handcuffed, seated in the back of a patrol car and under police supervision when Tucson, Ariz., police officers searched his car. They found cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
Tags: Warrantless Search, Supreme Court, Law, Education by Sistrunk