Supreme Court Limits Law On Illegal Car Searches

April 21, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a law that gave the power to search vehicles without warrants or cause to law enforcement.

Justice John Paul Stevens originally penned the new guidelines, after a three year prison sentence was given to a man for cocaine possession, all from a car search which was conducted during an arrest for driving on a suspended license. That sentence has been overturned, and the man released.

The law’s interpretation has been questioned for some time, and many have claimed that it has been misused by law enforcement in order to conduct unconstitutional searches, since it allows for ‘probable cause’ precedent.

This knew rewrite, which was voted for by a surprising mix of five judges from both the Liberal and Conservative side, will make it unable to police to search a vehicle if a) the suspect is unable to return to the vehicle, b) the suspect is unable to reach for a potential weapon, or c) the suspect is unable to destroy potential evidence. This would be in addition to probable cause for suspicion during an arrest.


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