Q: Attorney Tully, my 17 year old son got arrested by the police. After they arrested him, they searched the backpack he was carrying without a warrant. Was that legal?
A: The United States Supreme Court has given police wide latitude regarding a search incident to an arrest. The law allows a search incident to a lawful arrest to extend not only to the Defendant’s person (pat down) but also to the area within the Defendant’s immediate control. A lot depends on where the backpack was when the police searched it and whether your son had access to anything like a weapon in the backpack. Call me.