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Arizona v. Gant

Docket No.: 07-542
Certiorari Granted: 2/25/2008
Argued: October 7, 2008
Decided: April 21, 2009

PartyNames: Arizona v. Rodney Joseph Gant
Petitioner: Arizona
Respondent: Rodney Gant

Court Below: Supreme Court of Arizona

Arizona
v.
Rodney Gant
Background:

In New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981), this Court held that the risks to officer safety and to the preservation of evidence inherent in the arrest of a vehicle's recent occupant justify a contemporaneous warrantless search of the automobile's passenger compartment incident to the arrest.

Consideration Limited:

GRANTED LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: DOES THE FOURTH AMENDMENT REQUIRE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO DEMONSTRATE A THREAT TO THEIR SAFETY OR A NEED TO PRESERVE EVIDENCE RELATED TO THE CRIME OF ARREST IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY A WARRANTLESS VEHICULAR SEARCH INCIDENT TO ARREST CONDUCTED AFTER THE VEHICLE'S RECENT OCCUPANTS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND SECURED?

Question Presented:

The question presented is: Did the Arizona Supreme Court effectively "overrule" this Court's bright-line rule in Belton by requiring in each case that the State prove after-the-fact that those inherent dangers actually existed at the time of the search?

Question:

Is a search conducted by police officers after handcuffing the defendant and securing the scene a violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures?

Note:

THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI IS

Holding: affirmed
Opinion By:
Read ARIZONA V. GANT opinion (PDF)