An officer making a lawful arrest has the right not only to search the person arrested, but also to search an area within his immediate control, including the premises in which such person has been arrested.
Defendant challenged his conviction on the ground that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence taken from his home that had been obtained as the result of an illegal search and seizure in violation of Ill. Const. art. II, §§ 6, 10. Defendant sought review of his conviction for the unlawful sale of narcotics. The court affirmed.
Did evidence seized in a warrantless search violate defendant's constitutional rights where the search was of the area around defendant, in his home, where he had committed a crime a few minutes earlier?
Affirming defendant's conviction, the court ruled that after defendant's lawful arrest, the search of the premises in which the crime had been committed only minutes previously in order to find and seize the fruits of the crime was reasonable and, thus, the evidence was lawfully seized and properly admissible. The court also rejected defendant's claim that the State failed to adduce evidence from which the trial court could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance sold by defendant to a police informer was in fact heroin as charged in the indictment. Noting that the testimony of the witnesses adequately traced the packages from defendant to the police informer, to the arresting police officer, then to the chemist who examined the contents of the packages and testified at trial that the packages contained heroin, the court concluded that continuity of possession was fully established.