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Vale v. Louisiana

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Procedure keyed to Israel

Citation. Vale v. Louisiana, 399 U.S. 30, 90 S. Ct. 1969, 26 L. Ed. 2d 409, 1970 U.S. LEXIS 18 (U.S. 1970)

Brief Fact Summary. Police arrested appellant Donald Vale on the street outside his home and then went into his home nearby and conducted a search, recovering additional narcotics in the process.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A search of a house is only to be upheld as incident to an arrest if the arrest takes place inside the house.

Facts. Police officers holding a warrant for appellant’s arrest witnessed what they believed was a narcotics deal outside appellant’s house after he went inside and brought something out to give to a known addict. They arrested the appellant on the front steps and proceeded to enter and search the house, discovering narcotics in a bedroom. Appellant was convicted of possessing heroin and the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed his conviction, saying that the search had taken place “in the immediate vicinity of the arrest.”ť This court granted certiorari to appellant Vale.

Issue. Is a search of a home allowed to be considered valid under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment as being “incident to an arrest”ť if the arrest did not take place within the home?

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