The nation’s struggle to balance individual rights of privacy and legitimate law enforcement efforts continues without any clear resolution in sight. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, stating that search warrants shall be issued only with a showing of probable cause, a description of the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Complementing the warrant requirement is the principal that searches done without a warrant are per se unreasonable. The Supreme Court, however, has recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement under certain situations, based on various legal theories and factual scenarios. This article will discuss only one of these exceptions, searches incident to arrest. The evolving standards and rules for these searches, their significance, how and when they apply, and recent changes in the scope of these searches will be the main focus of this article. In addition, a circuit split regarding this issue will be discussed and analyzed.
Recommended CitationNicholas De Sena, Searches Incident to Arrest and the Aftermath of Arizona v. Gant – A Circuit Split as to Gant’s Applicability to Non-Vehicular Searches, 33 Pace L. Rev. 431 (2013)
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol33/iss1/9