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Chimel vs California

Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Chimel (the defendant), was arrested inside
his home and police asked him for consent to search the home. The defendant
refused the request. The police proceeded nonetheless, incident to the lawful arrest
and searched in different rooms. The police also had the defendants wife open
various dresser drawers and remove their contents.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Incident to a lawful arrest, a search of any area beyond the
arrestees immediate control, is unlawful under the Fourth Amendment of the United
States Constitution (Constitution), unless there is a clear danger that evidence
may be destroyed or concealed or there is an imminent threat of harm to the
arresting officers.

Facts. The police came to Defendants home with an arrest warrant for an alleged
burglary. The police asked permission to look around the house. The defendant
refused the request and the police proceeded to search the home anyways. The
police also made the defendants wife remove contents of various dresser drawers.
The police seized coins and medals which were later used to convict the defendant
of burglary.

Issue. Where a defendant is lawfully arrested inside his home, is a warrantless

search of the area beyond the defendants immediate control constitutional?

Held. Any search in an arrestees home beyond arrestees person and the area
within his immediate control is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the

Dissent. Where there is probable cause to search and there is a clear danger that
the items which are the subject of the search may be removed prior to police
obtaining a search warrant, a warrantless search of the area beyond an arrestees
immediate control is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Concurrence. Given the variety of circumstances which police encounter, this

decision will create additional burdens on law enforcement. Whether or not the
warrant requirement will protect individual rights in each and every local situation is

Discussion. Contemporaneous searches incident to a lawful arrest are reasonable to

seize weapons as well as prevent the destruction or concealment of evidence.
Searches beyond the scope of these justifications are unreasonable under the
Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.



Captain Alen Vasco, the commanding officer of the first regional command
(NARCOM) stationed at camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary
checkpoint for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from the Cordillera
Region. The order to establish a checkpoint was prompted by persistent reports that
vehicles coming from Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited
drugs. And an information also was received about a Caucasian coming from
Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs.

In the afternoon the bus where accused was riding stopped. Sgt. Fider and
CIC Galutan boarded the bus and announced that they were members of the
NARCOM and that they would conduct an inspection. During the inspection CIC
Galutan noticed a bulge on accused waist. Suspecting the bulge on accused waist to
be a gun, the officer asked for accuseds passport and other identification papers.
When accused failed to comply, the officer required him to bring out whatever it
was that was bulging o his waist. And it turned out to be a pouched bag and when
accused opened the same bag the officer noticed four suspicious looking objects
wrapped in brown packing tape. It contained hashish, a derivative of marijuana.

Thereafter, the accused was invited outside the bus for questioning. But
before he alighted from the bus accused stopped to get two travelling bags. The
officer inspects the bag. It was only after the officers had opened the bags that the
accused finally presented his passport. The two bags contained a stuffed toy each,
upon inspection the stuff toy contained also hashish.


Whether or not there is a violation of the constitutional right against

unreasonable search and seizure

The Supreme Court held that under Section 5 Rule 113 of the Rules of Court

Arrest without warrant; when lawful a peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:

a) When, in the presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually

committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporary confined
while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one
confinement to another

Accused was searched and arrested while transporting prohibited drugs. A crime
was actually being committed by the accused and he was caught in flagrante
delicto, thus the search made upon his personal effects falls squarely under
paragraph 1 of the foregoing provision of law, which allows a warrantless search
incident to a lawful arrest.

Probable cause has been defined as such facts and circumstances which could lead
a reasonable, discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been
committed, and that the object sought in connection with the offense are in the
placed sought to be searched.

When NARCOM received the information that a Caucasian travelling from Sagada to
Baguio City was carrying with him a prohibited drug, there was no time to obtain a
search warrant.

Chavez vs. COMELEC

Petitioner seeks to enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from enforcing

Section 32 of its Resolution No. 6520. He claims that said section in the nature of an
ex post facto law. He urges this Court to believe that the assailed provision makes
an individual criminally liable for an election offense for not removing such
advertisement, even if at the time the said advertisement was exhibited, the same
was clearly legal.

ISSUE: Is Sec. 32 of COMELEC Res. No. 6520 in the nature of an ex post facto law?
HELD: NO. Section 32, although not penal in nature, defines an offense and
prescribes a penalty for said offense. Laws of this nature must operate
prospectively, except when they are favorable to the accused. It should be noted,
however, that the offense defined in the assailed provision is not the putting up of
"propaganda materials such as posters, streamers, stickers or paintings on walls
and other materials showing the picture, image or name of a person, and all
advertisements on print, in radio or on television showing the image or mentioning
the name of a person, who subsequent to the placement or display thereof becomes
a candidate for public office." Nor does it prohibit or consider an offense the
entering of contracts for such propaganda materials by an individual who
subsequently becomes a candidate for public office. One definitely does not commit
an offense by entering into a contract with private parties to use his name and
image to endorse certain products prior to his becoming a candidate for public
office. The offense, as expressly prescribed in the assailed provision, is the non-
removal of the described propaganda materials three (3) days after the effectivity of
COMELEC Resolution No. 6520. If the candidate for public office fails to remove such
propaganda materials after the given period, he shall be liable under Section 80 of
the Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning. Indeed, nowhere is it
indicated in the assailed provision that it shall operate retroactively. There is,
therefore, no ex post facto law in this case.