The Colorado Supreme Court released seven opinions on Monday, four of which related to Arizona v. Gant, a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision that raised the standards for warrantless vehicular searches conducted after the vehicle’s occupants have been arrested and secured.
Perez v. People. The Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision reversing the Court of Appeals, held that a search of a car glove compartment is unlawful when the driver (Jaime Perez in this case) was not within reaching distance of it and there was no indication that evidence of the offense of arrest would be found in the car.
Pineda v. People. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision affirming the Court of Appeals, held that the heroin evidence obtained from Jose Pineda’s car is admissible because it was discovered pursuant to a valid inventory search of the vehicle.
People v. McCarty. The Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision affirming a district court order, held that the trial court’s suppression of drugs seized from John Jacob McCarty’s vehicle was appropriate. Following the Arizona v. Gant decision, the court found arresting officers lacked probable cause to support a warrantless search or justification for a search incident to his arrest.
People v. Chamberlain. The Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision affirming a district court order, held that the suppression of drugs seized from Stephanie Chamberlain’s vehicle was appropriate under Arizona v. Gant. Chamberlain had already been arrested for false reporting, handcuffed and put in a patrol car when officers searched her vehicle and found methamphetamines.
Read more about these cases on Law Week Colorado.