FLORIDA V. MEYERS, 466 U. S. 380 (1984)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Florida v. Meyers, 466 U.S. 380 (1984)

Florida v. Meyers

No. 83-1279

Decided April 23, 1984

466 U.S. 380


At the time of respondent's arrest for sexual battery, police officers searched his automobile and seized several items. Approximately eight hours after the car was impounded, an officer, without obtaining a warrant, searched the car a second time, seizing additional evidence. The Florida trial court denied respondent's motion to suppress the evidence seized during the second search, and respondent was convicted. The Florida District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that even though respondent conceded that the initial search of the car was valid, the second warrantless search violated the Fourth Amendment because the car had been impounded, removing the element of mobility.

Held: The Fourth Amendment was not violated by the second search of respondent's car. The justification to conduct a warrantless search of a car that has been stopped on the road -- based on probable cause to believe there is evidence of crime inside it -- does not vanish once the car has been impounded and immobilized. Michigan v. Thomas, 458 U. S. 259.

Certiorari granted; 432 So.2d 97, reversed and remanded.

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