In a motion to suppress a search of a vehicle by police officers following an arrest, is the search not incident to an arrest?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Sims, 273 Cal.Rptr.3d 792, 59 Cal.App.5th 943 (Cal. App. 2021):

The defendant argues the officers did not search his vehicle incident to an arrest; he claims they instead searched it based solely on their mistaken belief that he was on probation and subject to a Fourth Amendment waiver. But the testifying officer refuted this claim during the suppression hearing. According to the officer, he searched the vehicle both because he believed (erroneously, as it turns out) that the defendant executed a Fourth Amendment waiver and because the defendant was under arrest for public intoxication. After receiving the officer's testimony, the trial court expressly opined the defendant was "drunk in public" and found the search was incident to an arrest. In urging us to reject these findings and disbelieve the testifying officer, the defendant asks us to reweigh the evidence and substitute our findings for those of the trial court. We decline the defendant's invitation, which runs contrary to well-settled principles of appellate review. ( People v. Lieng (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 1213, 1218, 119 Cal.Rptr.3d 200 ["In reviewing the ruling on a motion to suppress, the appellate court defers to the trial court's factual findings, express or implied, when supported by substantial evidence."].)

Other Questions

Is a search of a vehicle by a police officer who stops and searches the vehicle at the police station a search warrant? (California, United States of America)
Does the search-incident-to-arrest exception apply to a search where the search occurred prior to the arrest? (California, United States of America)
Does a search of a vehicle by a plainclothes police officer during a search for drugs in which neither defendant nor the female passenger were under arrest? (California, United States of America)
Under what circumstances can a police officer search a vehicle incident to a recent occupant's arrest? (California, United States of America)
If an officer had probable cause to arrest a defendant, would the search of that defendant have been a search incident to a lawful arrest? (California, United States of America)
How have courts dealt with a motion to suppress evidence obtained during a search by a police officer at a motor vehicle stop? (California, United States of America)
Does a police officer's subjective belief that a search incident to arrest might uncover evidence of crime invalidate an arrest under the Fourth Amendment? (California, United States of America)
What evidence supports the inference that a defendant or his companion knew the vehicle contained police officers until the vehicle was identified as a police vehicle? (California, United States of America)
In what circumstances will a police officer who receives a radio call to search for a suspect vehicle have to specify his probable cause to the arresting officer? (California, United States of America)
Is there any requirement under federal search and seizure law that an auto search incident to an occupant's arrest must have some nexus between the vehicle and the crime for which the occupant was arrested? (California, United States of America)

Alexi white

"The most advanced legal research software ever built."

Trusted by top litigators from across North America.