Cannot search car post arrest


Following trial, Reginald Boykins was convicted of possession of cocaine and sentenced to four years imprisonment. He appealed his conviction and the denial of his motion to suppress drug evidence seized from his vehicle to the Court of Appeals, arguing that the vehicle search violated his Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

Officer Morales of the DeKalb County Police Department saw Mr. Boykins pull his vehicle up and talk to a woman walking in a high crime area. Reginald quickly drove off when Morales turned the patrol car around. Suspecting prostitution, Morales approached Reginald. Reginald said his identification was in his apartment, but he gave Morales his name and birth date. After discovering Reginald had an outstanding probation arrest warrant, Morales asked Reginald to get out of the car, put him in handcuffs and placed him in the custody of a second officer. Morales then searched Reginald’s vehicle, finding cocaine in the center console.

Morales stated he searched the “wing span within [Reginald’s] vehicle” where he discovered the illegal drugs. Pursuant to Arizona v. Gant, where the State does not show the person arrested still has some way to access to the center console of a vehicle, the police cannot search the vehicle. Thewre are other exceptions which may permit search of a vehicle, but those were not present here. The search was illegal.