One of the most important decisions that was made by Court in terms of warrantless search occurred during the case Chimel v. California, while this issue has been subject to many discussions after a valid arrest was done. Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to provide a case brief on the mentioned court decision.



The main issue is related to the question whether the warrantless arrest of the whole house of those who are being arrested can be considered constitutionally legal.


The police has obtained a warrant to arrest a petitioner for the coin shop burglary. After the identification, the officers were invited to enter the house by the wife. The petitioner was asked permission to look around the house, which he refused though the officer continued saying that it was legal due to the basis of lawful arrest. The whole search revealed objects that were evidence despite the objections of the defendant that they were obtained in an unconstitutional way.


Judgment reversed. The warrantless search was unconstitutional as it violated the 4th Amendment according to which the area of search can only cover places close to defendant where he could hold weapon or hide evidence (the pockets of the defendant and/or close area). The decision was delivered by Justice Stewart in the Supreme Court and was based on the case of United States v. Rabinowitz.


The warrantless search is considered unconstitutional in any place except the suspects personal area and area where weapon can be obtained. The law enforcement interests are less important than ones home privacy.

The decision that was ruled out during this case was very important as it enforced the existence of such concept as exclusionary rule, according to which the evidence obtained during warrantless search cannot be presented in court legally. This decision was used for further rules implementation. Thus, the disserting claiming is about the fact that the wife of the defendant could hide the evidence once she knew about the upcoming search warrant (Justia US Supreme Court Center, n.d.).