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United States v. Watson

United States Supreme Court
423 U.S. 411 (1976)


On August 17, 1972, a reliable informant alerted a postal inspector that Watson (defendant) had a stolen credit card. The informant gave the card to the inspector and agreed to set up a meeting with Watson. During the meeting, the informant signaled that Watson had more stolen cards. Police arrested Watson, read his rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and asked to search his car. Watson consented to the search and officers found two stolen credit cards inside. Watson was charged with possessing stolen mail. Before trial, Watson moved to suppress the evidence found in the car, claiming that the warrantless arrest was invalid and his consent to search the car ineffective. The trial court denied the motion, and Watson was convicted. The Court of Appeals then held that the arrest was invalid.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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