Criminal Procedure, Pages 240–242

Illinois v. Lafayette

1983

Facts:

Defendant was arrested for getting into an altercation with a theater manager. While booking him, police had him place all belongings on a counter. These included a shoulder bag, in which police found ten amphetamine pills.

Issue:

Can police search the personal effects of a person as part of the procedure incident to booking and jailing the person after a lawful arrest?

Reasoning:

The individual's Fourth Amendment interests must be balanced against the government's interests in proper handling of taken items, preventing liability to claims of theft, and detecting items that could pose a danger to the arrestee or others.

Rule/Holding:

Routine inventories of a person's personal effects at booking subject to standard police procedure are reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

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