skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 150004 Find in a Library
Title: Court's "Two Model" Approach to the Fourth Amendment: Carpe Diem!
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:84  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1993)  Pages:429-461
Author(s): C M Bradley
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 33
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses why three cases -- United States v. Robinson (1973), New York v. Belton (1981), and California v. Acevedo (1991) -- were wrongly decided by the U.S. Supreme Court according to the Court's logic and precedents.
Abstract: In United States v. Robinson, the Court held that a warrantless search incident to any custodial arrest may be a "full body search," including a search of any containers in the suspect's possession. In New York v. Belton, the Court held that a warrantless search incident to arrest of an occupant of an automobile extends to all containers in the passenger compartment; and in California v. Acevedo, the Court held that warrantless automobile searches may extend to all containers found in the automobile searched. The author argues that these decisions are inconsistent with the Court's oft-advanced claim that search warrants are ordinarily "required" subject to a "few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions." He further considers how these decisions will lead to the abandonment of the search warrant requirement for all searches conducted out of doors and will lead to the establishment of a "two model" approach to the Fourth Amendment, with warrants required for searches of structures but not of other places. The article concludes with a model statute that captures this new development in a succinct and comprehensible form. This formulation will show that the Court has, apparently inadvertently, presented itself with an opportunity to render Fourth Amendment law clearer and more straightforward than at any time since the "criminal procedure revolution" began. 162 footnotes
Main Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Police policies and procedures; Vehicle searches; Warrantless search
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.