I was arrested for DUI, and the police went through my wallet at the station and found an old fake id, is it legal for them to search my wallet?

I didn’t say that it was in my wallet, was it legal for them to go through it anyway
since I was already in custody?

Asked on June 14, 2017 under Criminal Law, North Dakota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Typically, a search warrant is needed in order to conduct a search. however, there are several exceptins tothis rule. One is a search incident to a valid arrest. In other words, your situation. In this case, your wallet could be searched to check for contraband or just simply to take an inventory of its contents should you claim money, etc. was missing when you later got it back.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The search of your wallet was a valid / legal search because this was a search incident to an arrest.  No search warrant is required.  The reasons for a search incident to an arrest are to look for contraband or any weapon and to take inventory of the contents of your wallet in case you claim in the future that items are missing from your wallet.

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