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“Searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment -subject only to a few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions.” Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 357 (1967) Among the exceptions to the warrant requirement is a search incident to a lawful arrest. See Weeks v. United States, 232 U. S. 383, 392 (1914) . The exception derives from interests in officer safety and evidence preservation that are typically implicated in arrest situations. See United States v. Robinson, 414 U. S. 218, 230-234 (1973) ; Chimel, 395 U. S., at 763.


In Chimel, the court held that a search incident to arrest may only include “the arrestee’s person and the area ‘within his immediate control’-construing that phrase to mean the area from within which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence.” Ibid. That limitation, which continues to define the boundaries of the exception, ensures that the scope of a search incident to arrest is commensurate with its purposes of protecting arresting officers and safeguarding any evidence of the offense of arrest that an arrestee might conceal or ...

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