Brinegar v. United States

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Brinegar v. United States 338 U.S. 160 69 S. Ct. 1302; 93 L. Ed. 1879; 1949 U.S. LEXIS 2084 Facts: Brinegar had a reputation for illegally transporting liquor across state lines. The officer recognized the defendant one day, while parked by the highway, and noticed that the defendant's vehicle looked "heavily loaded." When he pulled Brinegar over, the officer could see one case of alcohol in the front seat of the car. The defendant later on denied that any liquor was visible. The defendant was arrested, and the officer seized the alcohol in the car as well as the alcohol he found in the trunk after the arrest. The defendant challenged the constitutionality of his arrest on the grounds that the officer did not have probable cause, and thus the seizure of the alcohol was not agreeable to a valid stop. Legal Issue: Whether or not the requirements of the information on which an officer may act, such as a warrantless search has probable cause? Prosecution Argument: Brinegar already had a reputation on transporting illegal alcohol, and when was pulled over he admitted to having some alcohol on him. Defense Argument: That the police had no probable cause on seizing the alcohol, or a warrant. Decision/ Rationale: While the police don’t always have to be correct in conducting a warrantless search, but the search must always be reasonable. Dissent: 6-3: Mr.Jackson dissented that, “the 4th amendment and are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable
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