Warrantless Search and Seizure Memoranda Essay

1324 Words Sep 28th, 2013 6 Pages
Linda Barron-Gronvold

CCJS 234-Criminal Procedure and Evidence

September 17, 2013

Warrantless Search & Seizure Memorandum

To: Judge M. Pearson

From: Linda Barron-Gronvold

Re: Elliott Watson case – Marijuana Possession with Intent to Distribute


Date: September 17, 2013

Brief Summary:

Elliott Watson was arrested for the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute said illegal drug. Elliott Watson was stopped by Officer Timothy Johnson because of faulty mechanical problems of Elliot Watson’s vehicle, which was sputtering and stalling out, and the vehicle also fit the description of a vehicle, a sports coupe, that had earlier, was used to kidnap a three year old young girl, Wanda Jones,
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3 to place his hands on the vehicle. Officer Johnson did a pat down check of Mr. Watsons’ person and found a pipe that was probably being used for smoking marijuana and then checked the interior and trunk of the Watson vehicle and found the Cellophane wrapped Marijuana package. Searches are acceptable when reasonable cause is present and depending on the circumstances when supported by probable cause, warrants or exigent circumstances. The vehicle matched the description of the vehicle used to kidnap a child from her residence. The warrantless search to the arrest was valid.

Rule of Law- Cases for the basis of Analysis:
In New York v. Belton 453U.S. 454 (1981), the Supreme Court held that a lawful custodial arrest based on probable cause justifies a search without a warrant of the person arrested and the passenger compartment.

In Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009), the Supreme Court held that police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a recent occupant’s arrest (and therefore without a warrant) only if it is reasonable to believe that the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest.

In Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132 (1925), the Supreme Court held that, probable cause is required to believe the vehicle contains

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