CASES TO WATCH: Inventory Searches Provide Police Avenue to Skirt Search Protocol

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Criminal Defense Attorney and Kaedian LLP Partner Kacey McBroom points to a ruling this week in a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case, United States v. Torres, that gives police even broader discretion in searching vehicles.  Claiming they are conducting “inventory searches” – searches meant to protect or otherwise safeguards belongings in a vehicle – was found to be a permissible reason to search a car that does not otherwise meet the requirements for such searches under the 4th amendment.  The case, says McBroom, sets a slippery slope precedent for police claiming some form of public good to circumvent otherwise well-established privacy rights.  The full opinion can be found here.  

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