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Carroll v. United States

Significance, Warrantless Automobile Searches Valid, What Becomes Of The Fourth And Fifth Amendments?, Impact


George Carroll, John Kiro


United States

Appellants' Claim

That since there was no basis for the search of their car, the evidence resulting from the search should have been excluded from trial, their arrest and seizure were unlawful, and the use of the liquor as evidence violated their constitutional rights.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

Thomas E. Atkinson

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

John G. Sargent, Attorney General; James M. Beck

Justices for the Court

William Howard Taft (writing for the Court), Joseph McKenna, Willis Van Devanter, Louis D. Brandeis, Pierce Butler, Edward Terry Sanford

Justices Dissenting

James Clark McReynolds, George Sutherland


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

2 March 1925


Upheld the warrantless search of a car, noting that probable cause existed and the mobility of the automobile made it impracticable to get a search warrant.

Related Cases

  • Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886).
  • Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914).
  • United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1 (1977).

Further Readings

  • FindLaw, Inc. Internet Legal Resources. http://www.findlaw.com
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford Press, 1992.
  • Witt, Elder, ed. The Supreme Court A to Z. CQ's Encyclopedia of American Government. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1993.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940