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Tampa Criminal Attorneys: What is a Search Incident to Lawful Arrest?

One of the most common questions posed to Tampa Criminal Attorneys are whether the search of an individual was legal and lawful, and if it was not, what’s the proper remedy to suppress the evidence in the case. One of the more common and controversial searches available to law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office to claim before the court is a search Incident to lawful arrest. Again, this is another exception to the warrant requirement.  The Fourth Amendment has solely been eroded with exceptions, this is just another example.

Tampa Gun Crimes Lawyer

Tampa Gun Lawyer

A Search Incident to Arrest occurs when law enforcement commits a lawful arrest of an individual, and they search the area that is “grabbable” space around the arrestee within their “immediate control.” The easiest way to think of a Lawful Search Incident to Arrest is an example involving an individual being arrested sitting on their couch in their home, law enforcement is likely going to be able to lawfully search the area that they would be able to quickly grab and access, if they had an opportunity.  In our example, this would likely include the area on and immediately surrounding the couch.  It is worth noting that this warrant exception has been upheld by Florida courts and other state courts across the country based on two primary lines of reasoning –to prevent the destruction of evidence and officer safety. It’s easy to imagine situations where folks, if they had access to the evidence of their crime, they could quickly destroy the evidence by a myriad of potential ways. Further, it’s not difficult to imagine situations where folks charged with crimes may consider harming law enforcement to aid in their escape from arrest.

If you have questions concerning a search of you or your person that led to an arrest, contact the Tampa Criminal Attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ll sit down with you and determine whether the search was lawful, and file any appropriate motions to suppress the illegally obtained evidence. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa Criminal Attorneys immediately, please use the “Contact Us Now” tab in the upper righthand corner of our website. We also have folks standing by to answer your phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to connect you to one of our Attorneys. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa Criminal Attorneys blog, and look forward to working with you in the future.