Does Search Warrant Permit Pat Down Searches of the People In That Location ?
In Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 62 L. Ed. 2d 238, 100 S. Ct. 338 (1979), police officers obtained a warrant to search a tavern and its bartender for evidence of possession of a controlled substance.
Upon entering the tavern, the officers conducted patdown searches of the customers present in the tavern, including Ybarra.
Inside a cigarette pack retrieved from Ybarra's pocket, an officer found six tinfoil packets containing heroin.
The Court stated:
'A person's mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not, without more, give rise to probable cause to search that person.
Where the standard is probable cause, a search or seizure of a person must be supported by probable cause particularized with respect to that person.
This requirement cannot be undercut or avoided by simply pointing to the fact that coincidentally there exists probable cause to search or seize another or to search the premises where the person may happen to be.' Ybarra, 444 U.S. at 91, 62 L. Ed. 2d at 245, 100 S. Ct. at 342.
The Court held that the search warrant did not permit body searches of all of the tavern's patrons and that the police could not pat down the patrons for weapons, absent individualized suspicion. Ybarra, 444 U.S. at 92, 62 L. Ed. 2d at 246, 100 S. Ct. at 343.