SCOTUS to hear case disputing warrantless motorcycle search

The case could test the boundaries of an exception to the Fourth Amendment's requirement that police obtain a warrant before searching a person, their home, papers or personal effects


By Denise Lavoie
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — The U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to decide whether police have the right to go on private property without a warrant to search a vehicle.

Arguments are scheduled Tuesday in a Virginia case that could test the boundaries of an exception to the Fourth Amendment's requirement that police obtain a warrant before searching a person, their home, papers or personal effects.

The case began with high-speed police chases of a distinctive orange and black Suzuki motorcycle. An officer later went on private property and lifted up a tarp to view the license plate.

The court will decide if the officer's search is covered by the automobile exception that allows police to search vehicles without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe they contain evidence of a crime.

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