☰ In this section

The Champion

August 2009 , Page 58 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Search & Seizure Commentary

By Timothy H. Everett

Arizona v. Gant: The End of the Belton Rule as We Knew It

On April 21, 2009, in Arizona v. Gant,1 a split (5-4) Supreme Court held that the broad rule of New York v. Belton,2 justifying the warrantless search of a car incident to the arrest of a recent occupant for any offense, finds no support in the reasonableness clause of the Fourth Amendment, given that a custodial arrest removes any genuine concern that the arrestee will escape and obtain a weapon from the car or destroy evidence in the car. The case marks a stark departure from what the Belton rule had come to represent — a police entitlement to search in the absence of genuine concern for their safety or the preservation of evidence. The Gant majority rejected the prevalent view that Belton held that the search incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement authorizes police to search the passenger compartment of a car even after the arrestee is in the custody and under the control of the police. In reaching that conclu

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.
Advertisement Advertise with Us

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us