State v. AsbothAnnotate this Case
Colorado v. Bertine, 479 U.S.C. 367 (1987), does not require officers to follow “standard criteria” when conducting a community caretaker impoundment.
Defendant, a suspected in the armed robbery of a bank, was arrested under an outstanding probation warrant. Police officers chose to impound the car in which Defendant was found. Officers then conducted an inventory search of the seized vehicle at the police station, a search that turned up several items held for safekeeping. The State then charged Defendant with armed robbery. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained from the search and seizure of the car. The circuit court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the officers possessed a bona fide community caretaker justification for impounding Defendant’s car; and (2) the warrantless seizure of Defendant’s car after his arrest was constitutionally reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.