Arizona V. Gant

Arizona v. Gant
Law enforcement officers have a sworn duty to uphold the law.   Decades ago, peace officers had a much easier time upholding the law and arresting bad guys.   There was no formal court system in place that would challenge an officer’s legitimacy of an arrest.   It seemed very cut and dry and the adage held true, “you do the crime-you do the time.”   In today’s society officers continually have to reeducate themselves on the ever-changing laws that affect the way they do their job.   One particular court case has directly affected our right to privacy law that the 4th Amendment gives us, is Arizona v. Gant.
Prior to Arizona v. Gant, officers generally had the freedom, without a warrant, to search the entire passenger compartment of a vehicle a suspect was being arrested had driven or was a passenger in (Wikipedia, 2009).   For instance, if an officer pulled over a vehicle to do a routine traffic stop and found that his license was revoked, he would arrest the suspect and put him in the back seat of his police car, to be transported to jail.   After arresting the suspect, the officer would be allowed to go back and search the vehicle.   If the officer found anything that was illegal to possess, such as drugs or a non-registered handgun, the officer could compound the charges to be more than just a suspended license.   These lawful practices came from a ruling known as New York v. Belton (Wikipedia, 2009).
On August 25, 1999, the Belton decision would be challenged.   Rodney J. Gant was arrested by Tucson, Arizona police and charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license. Officers “arrested Gant in a friend's yard after he had parked his vehicle and was walking away. Gant and all other suspects on the scene were then secured in police patrol cars. The officers then searched Gant's vehicle. After finding a weapon and a bag of cocaine, they also charged him with possession of a narcotic for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia” (Wikipedia,...