A police officer saw a vehicle on the side of the road and thought that the driver may have been hunting. The officer stopped and questioned the accused driver who said he was just peeing.
After the accused left, the officer went back and found a large bag of weed. The officer then pursued the vehicle and overtook him. Backup came and took custody of the accused.
Approximately six hours after the arrest, an RCMP officer unlocked the garage where the accused's car had been stored and conducted an inventory search of the vehicle required by RCMP policy. He had neither a search warrant nor the accused's permission. He found $1400 and two individual packages containing approximately 1/4 grams of cocaine each.
The accused claimed that the search of his car was not reasonable under s. 8.
- For a search incident to arrest to be lawful, it must be "truly incidental" to the arrest in question, i.e. there must be an objectively valid reasonable purpose connected to the search and the search must subjectively be carried out for this purpose.
- Delay and distance may cause the courts to make a negative inference about a search being incidental, but this inference can be rebutted with a reasonable explanation for the delay/distance from the arrest.