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Motor Vehicle Searches

OnDemand Webinar (84 minutes)

For 30 years, lawyers and police officers operated under the bright line rule of New York v. Belton. Vehicle searches incident to the arrest of a vehicle occupant were routine. In 2009, everything about post-arrest vehicle searches changed. Arizona v. Gant was a landmark decision that reveals much about the attitude of the United States Supreme Court toward Fourth Amendment protections, exigent circumstances and vehicle searches in particular. Nearly four years later, courts are still working to integrate this dynamic Fourth Amendment decision into the myriad of cases to which its principles apply. In order to be effective, and avoid Fourth Amendment pitfalls, every law enforcement officer, prosecutor and defense attorney must be familiar with this decision and its progeny. This fast-moving on-demand webinar, presented by Supreme Court practitioner and Gant defense counsel Thomas F. Jacobs, will provide everything you need to know about the latest shift in Fourth Amendment doctrine, and how to apply it in practice, both in the field and in the courtroom.


Thomas F. Jacobs, Law Offices of Thomas Jacobs


Motor Vehicle Searches: Moving Forward After Arizona v. Gant

• An Overview of Motor Vehicle Search Law: What's so Special About Cars?

• Reasonable Suspicion to Stop

• Probable Cause to Search

• Inventory Searches

• Search of Vehicle Incident to Arrest (New York v. Belton)

Arizona v. Gant: Understanding Exigency and Its Limits

• Arizona v. Gant: A Case Study

• The Gant Rule: Is There Still Authority to Search a Vehicle Incident to Arrest?

Sorting Out the Aftermath: Decisions Applying and Interpreting Gant

• Gant and Inventory Searches

• What Does Reason to Believe the Vehicle May Contain Evidence of the Crime of Arrest Mean?

• Does Arrestee Really Ever Have a Possibility of Accessing the Vehicle After Arrest?

• Is Gant Retroactive?

What Should Police Be Told About Vehicle Searches After Gant?

• Defining Vehicle Impound/Inventory Search Policy

• Contraband in Plain View

• Evidence Related to Crime of Arrest

How Gant May Affect Nonvehicle Searches (Exigent Circumstances After Gant)

• Exigency in General: What Is an Exigent Circumstance?

- Protective Sweeps: Are These Still Viable?

- Preventing Destruction of Contraband: When Does the Emergency Circumstance Exist, and When Does It End?