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State v. McCullough (2nd District Court of Appeals, Dec. 30th, 2011).

The Defendant was arrested during a “warrant round-up.” The arresting officer executed the warrant after she pulled into her private driveway. She had already exited her vehicle and locked her door when the officer approached her. The officer then arrested her under the outstanding warrant.  After the officer placed McCullough in his car, he again approached her vehicle and confirmed that it was locked. No evidence was presented that the officer could see any contraband or evidence of any crime inside the car. The officer then went to the door of the home and instructed McCullough's son to give him the keys. After McCullough's son complied with this instruction, the officer returned to the vehicle, unlocked it using McCullough's key, and conducted a search inclusive of McCullough's purse that was inside the car. The search revealed cash, marijuana, and cocaineinside McCullough's purse.
The Court applied the ruling in Gant which says that “[p]olice may search a vehicle incident to a recent occupant's arrest only if the arrestee is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search or it is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest.” 129 S.Ct. at 1723. Because it is undisputed that McCullough was secured in handcuffs in the arresting officer's patrol car when her car was searched, this case concerns only the second prong of Gant'sholding. Accordingly, the search can withstand constitutional scrutiny only if it was reasonable to believe McCullough's vehicle contained evidence of the offense underlying her arrest.
The warrant for her arrest was issued four to five months prior to her arrest, and the record is devoid of any evidence whatsoever suggesting that the sale of cocaineshe allegedly committed months before her arrest was still taking place or that the car was involved in that sale. Further, from his lawful standpoint outside the vehicle, the officer observed no contraband, weapons, or any other evidence which would support a reasonable belief that evidence from an offense committed at least four months prior—at an unknown location—would exist inside McCullough's vehicle at the time of her arrest.
Therefore, the Court said the evidence should be suppressed and threw out the case.