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Draper v. United States

Significance, Informant Provided "reasonable Grounds", Dissent Says Arrest Unlawful, Impact, Related Cases


James Draper


United States

Petitioner's Claim

That the search of petitioner and seizure of heroin following his warrantless arrest by a federal narcotics agent violated the Fourth Amendment because the arrest was based solely on information from a paid informant.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Osmond K. Fraenkel

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Leonard B. Sand

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., Tom C. Clark, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart, Charles Evans Whittaker (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

William O. Douglas (Felix Frankfurter and Earl Warren did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 January 1959


Upheld the lower courts' ruling that petitioner's arrest and the subsequent search of petitioner which turned up heroin were lawful, and affirmed his conviction.


Bureau of Justice Statistics Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics-1996. Washington, DC: U.S. Government, 1997.

Further Readings

  • Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. http://www.cjlf.org.
  • Criminal Law Links-Reference Desk. http://dpa.state.ky.us/~rwheeler/libarch.htm.
  • National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/nacjd.
  • National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.nara.gov.
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. http://www.criminaljustice.org.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962