Bloomberg Law
Nov. 25, 2019, 7:27 PMUpdated: Nov. 25, 2019, 10:19 PM

California Cops Can’t Search Vehicles for ID Without Warrant (1)

Joyce E. Cutler
Joyce E. Cutler
Staff Correspondent

California police can’t search inside a suspect’s vehicle for identification if the driver refuses to produce a license and registration on demand, the state Supreme Court ruled Nov. 25 in a case of first impression.

The justices concluded police made an unreasonable search by entering a vehicle to locate a driver’s ID. In this case, police found methamphetamine in the search of a driver’s purse. The trial court suppressed the evidence.

The 4-3 court held the desire to obtain a driver’s ID following a traffic stop doesn’t constitute an independent, categorical exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement for a warrant. ...

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