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    A question about personal property while being arrested

    Jurisdiction / State: Washington

    In March 2010 my dad called me stating that the police were at my house and wanted to ask me some questions about a recent assault that happened to me. When I walked to my house the police immediately put me in cuffs and arrested me for something completely different. They would not allow me to give my purse to my dad while I was being arrested. My question is: If I am being arrested on my property, do I have the right to give my property to someone so that I am not arrested with it?


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    Quote Originally Posted by zoqarexit View Post
    In March 2010 my dad called me stating that the police were at my house and wanted to ask me some questions about a recent assault that happened to me. When I walked to my house the police immediately put me in cuffs and arrested me for something completely different. They would not allow me to give my purse to my dad while I was being arrested. My question is: If I am being arrested on my property, do I have the right to give my property to someone so that I am not arrested with it?

    No.
    The police can allow you that COURTESY, but they don't have to do so.

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    When you are arrested you are subject to search, and all property in your control or on your person are subject to seizure. Often times it is easier for the police to leave all that property behind so that they are not responsible for it... however I suspect they had good reason to believe that something was in that purse, so they made sure to bring it along.

    A new ruling here in California just yesterday- the court says that police have the right to search an arrested person's cell phone and view text messages and contacts without a warrant. Why? That cell phone is in the control of or on the person of the person at the time of the arrest, and just like going through their pockets they can go through the phone.

    The same concept applies to your purse. If the police discovered evidence inside your purse upon your arrest you will not likely have any success trying to fight it.

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions...ts/S166600.PDF
    Last edited by mightymoose; 01-06-2011 at 02:58 AM. Reason: added link regarding cell phone search

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