The Iowa Supreme Court issued a split ruling on what’s required in the search of items in a vehicle. A Davenport police officer searched a safe in Jesse Gaskins’ car after Gaskins admitted he had been smoking a joint when he was pulled over for an expired license plate.
Officers found a loaded handgun, pipes and marijuana in the safe. The court ruled the officers were not in danger and there were no concerns evidence in the safe would be destroyed — so searching the safe without a warrant was not justified. Dissenting justices say the rule will be a challenge for arresting officers to implement and goes against prior precedent.
The case was sent back to district court and the evidence found in the safe cannot be used.
Here’s the full ruling: Gaskins ruling PDF