Gant (defendant) was arrested for driving with a suspended license shortly after getting out of his car. He was handcuffed and then put in the back of a police car. With Gant secured in the police car, officers proceeded to search the passenger compartment of his vehicle and found a gun and cocaine. Gant was charged with possession of a narcotic drug and drug paraphernalia. At a preliminary hearing, Gant moved to suppress the drug evidence because he felt that the decision in New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981), did not allow police to search his vehicle after he was secured in the police car, since he posed no threat to the officers and he was arrested for an offense for which no evidence could be found in his car. At trial, his motion to suppress was denied and he was convicted. The Supreme Court of Arizona, however, upheld the motion, claiming the search violated the Fourth Amendment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.