Three Factors in Inventory Searches During Book In
When a person is arrested and booked into jail law enforcement personal will search the arrested citizens personal effects during the book in process. This some times leads to an additional criminal charge if there is criminal evidence discovered. For example and persons wallet might contain a small amount of illegal drugs. These searches are done with out search warrants and have been ruled constitutional if the police follow certain procedures. The courts call these inventory searches. Here are three factors that need to be considered when criminal evidence is discovered during an inventory search during the book in process.
1. The arrest was lawful. In order for the inventory search of a person’s personal effects to be valid the original arrest must be lawful. If the original arrest can be suppressed then the evidence discovered during the inventory search
2. The search is pursuant to established procedures. The inventory search must be done pursuant to an established routine or procedure of the police department. If the prosecution does not present this evidence at a suppression hearing they will lose.
3. A search warrant is needed for search of a cell phone. The law has changed recently and law enforcement can no longer search the contents of a cell phone with out a search warrant.