Police officers are entitled to conduct a reasonable search of an arrestee, and perhaps the immediate surroundings. Learn about the permissible scope of and restrictions on searches incident to arrest.
Police Searches After an Arrest: Scope and Intensity
Police officers do not need a warrant to make a search “incident to an arrest.” After an arrest, police officers have the right to protect themselves by searching for weapons and to protect the legal case against the suspect by searching for evidence that the suspect might try to destroy.
Cellphone Searches After Arrest
If police officers arrest you, they can search your pockets and the area within your immediate reach without a warrant. But what happens if the cops come across your iPhone or Android?
A “protective sweep” is a limited search that police are allowed to conduct when they arrest someone.
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