Searches incident to a lawful arrest
In most cases, a search warrant is required to perform a lawful search. An exception to this requirement is "search incident to arrest. This rule formerly permitted an officer to perform a warrantless search during or immediately after a lawful arrest, regardless of what the arrest was for. The exception is now limited to the person arrested and the area immediately surrounding the person in which the person may gain possession of a weapon, in some way effect an escape, or destroy or hide evidence.
In the case of Arizona v. Gant (April 21, 2009) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the police can search a car following arrest only if the person arrested "could have accessed his car at the time of the search." In other words, if the person arrested could conceivably reach into his car for a weapon, then a search based on officer safety is permitted. Otherwise, the old practice of allowing officers to "search [a car] incident to arrest" is no longer allowed.
- Harris v. United States (1947), and United States v. Rabinowitz (1950), the decisions that were overruled by Chimel
- Kerr, Orin (2010-12-14) The Origins of the “Search Incident to Arrest” Exception, The Volokh Conspiracy
- O'Connor, T. (2006-05-15). "Search And Seizure: A Guide to Rules, Requirements, Tests, Doctrines, and Exceptions". Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2006-08-14. But see Maryland v. Buie'', 494 U.S. 325 (1990) (holding Fourth Amendment permits properly limited protective sweep in conjunction with in-home arrest when searching officer possesses reasonable belief based on specific and articulable facts that area to be swept harbors individual posing danger to those on arrest scene).
- Koehl, E. J., Jr. (1969). "Criminal Procedure—Search Incident to a Lawful Arrest". Loyola Law Review 16: 217. ISSN 0192-9720.