California V. Acevedo

California v. Acevedo, 500 U.S. 565 (1991), was a decision made by the United States Supreme Court, which interpreted the Carroll doctrine to provide one rule to govern all automobile searches. The Court stated, "The police may search an automobile and the containers within it where they have probable cause to believe contraband or evidence is contained." The decision also overruled the Chadwick-Sanders distinction which previously held that if probable cause existed to search an automobile the police may perform a warrantless search of the automobile and the containers within it, but if the police only had probable cause to search a container in the automobile, the police first had to obtain a warrant before searching the container. It thereby confirmed Carroll v. United States (1925), which held that a warrantless search of an automobile based upon probable cause to believe that the vehicle contained evidence of crime in the light of an exigency arising out of the vehicle's likely disappearance did not contravene the Fourth Amendment's Warrant Clause.

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