MR. JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
On June 4, 1966, four armed men robbed a residence in Studio City, California. On June 5, Alfred Baum and Richard Bader were arrested for possession of narcotics; at the time of their arrest, they were driving petitioner Hill's car, and a search of the car produced property stolen in the Studio City robbery the day before. Bader and Baum both admitted taking part in the June 4 robbery, and both implicated Hill. Bader told the police that he was sharing an apartment with Hill at 9311
One of the investigating officers then checked official records on Hill, verifying his prior association with Bader, his age and physical description, his address, and the make of his car. The information the officer uncovered corresponded with the general descriptions by the robbery victims and the statements made by Baum and Bader.
Hill concedes that this information gave the police probable cause to arrest him, and the police undertook to do so on June 6. Four officers went to the Sepulveda Boulevard apartment, verified the address, and knocked. One of the officers testified: "The door was opened and a person who fit the description exactly of Archie Hill, as I had received it from both the cards and from Baum and Bader, answered the door. . . . We placed him under arrest for robbery."
The police had neither an arrest nor a search warrant. After arresting the man who answered the door, they asked him whether he was Hill and where the guns and stolen goods were. The arrestee replied that he was not Hill, that his name was Miller, that it was Hill's apartment and that he was waiting for Hill. He also claimed that he knew nothing about any stolen property or guns, although the police testified that an automatic pistol and a clip of ammunition were lying in plain view on a coffee table in the living room where the arrest took place. The arrestee then produced identification indicating that he was in fact Miller, but the police were unimpressed and proceeded to search the apartment— living room, bedroom, kitchen area, and bath—for a period which one officer described as "a couple of hours."
During the course of the search, the police seized several
Petitioner argues that Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969), decided after his conviction was affirmed by the California Supreme Court, should be applied to his case, which is before us on direct review. Chimel narrowed the permissible scope of searches incident to arrest, but in Williams v. United States and Elkanich v. United States, ante, p. 646, we held Chimel inapplicable to searches occurring before the date of decision in that case—regardless of whether a case was still on direct review when Chimel was decided, see Williams, supra, or whether a Chimel challenge was asserted in a subsequent collateral attack on a conviction. See Elkanich, supra. We also stated that in light of past decisions there was no difference in constitutional terms between state and federal prisoners insofar as retroactive application to their cases of a new interpretation of the Bill of Rights is concerned. Ante, at 656. The search of Hill's apartment, permissible in scope under pre-Chimel standards, will not be retrospectively invalidated because of that decision.
Based on our own examination of the record, we find no reason to disturb either the findings of the California courts that the police had probable cause to arrest Hill and that the arresting officers had a reasonable, goodfaith belief that the arrestee Miller was in fact Hill, or the conclusion that "[w]hen the police have probable cause to arrest one party, and when they reasonably mistake a second party for the first party, then the arrest of the second party is a valid arrest." 69 Cal. 2d, at 553, 446 P. 2d, at 523.
Nor can we agree with petitioner that however valid the arrest of Miller, the subsequent search violated the Fourth Amendment. It is true that Miller was not Hill; nor did Miller have authority or control over the premises, although at the very least he was Hill's guest. But the question is not what evidence would have been admissible against Hill (or against Miller for that matter) if the police, with probable cause to arrest Miller, had arrested him in Hill's apartment and then carried out the search at issue. Here there was probable cause to arrest Hill and the police arrested Miller in Hill's apartment, reasonably believing him to be Hill. In these circumstances the police were entitled to do what the law would have allowed them to do if Miller had in fact been Hill, that is, to search incident to arrest and to seize evidence of the crime the police had probable cause to believe Hill had committed. When judged in accordance with "the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not
Finally, in his brief in this Court, petitioner argues that the admission in evidence of the two pages of his diary— Pages which contained what amounted to a confession of the robbery—violated the Fifth Amendment under Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886). Counsel for Hill conceded at oral argument that the Fifth Amendment issue was not raised at trial. Nor was the issue raised, briefed, or argued in the California appellate courts.
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE BLACK concurs in the result.
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS took no part in the consideration or the decision of this case.
MR. JUSTICE HARLAN, whom MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL joins, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I agree with the Court's opinion except for its conclusion that the Chimel case is not to be applied to this one.
Two Terms ago, in Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969), we held that a search without a warrant, but incident to a lawful arrest, must be narrowly confined in scope if it is to pass constitutional muster. In such circumstances, we said:
Because I believe this case reveals an obvious violation of Chimel and because I consider we are duty bound to apply the principles there enunciated to cases, like this one, before us on direct review, see my separate opinion in Mackey v. United States (and companion cases), ante, p. 675, decided today, I am compelled to cast my vote for reversal of the judgment of the Supreme Court of California.
Thereafter, petitioner's case was severed from that of Baum and Bader. Hill waived a jury and submitted the case for trial on the transcript of the preliminary hearing and the exhibits there introduced. The State called one additional witness at trial—Officer Gastaldo—who gave a more complete version of the investigation of the robbery and of the arrest of the man who turned out to be Miller. The two diary pages seized in Hill's apartment contained what was in effect a full confession of his participation in the Studio City robbery. The additional testimony of Officer Gastaldo was critical in establishing the legality of the arrest and subsequent search. After hearing this testimony, the trial judge denied petitioner's motion to suppress the items seized, including, of course, the diary pages. Hill presented no further evidence at trial, and was found guilty as charged. A motion for a new trial was subsequently denied, and petitioner's appeals in the California courts followed.
In his brief in this Court, petitioner attacks the admission of the diary pages on a ground never advanced below. For the reasons expressed in Part III of this opinion, we do not rule upon these contentions.
"I have fully reviewed the evidence. I have determined that the officer in good faith believed that the defendant, or that the person who was arrested—not the defendant in this case—was believed by the officer in good faith to be Mr. Hill, and that whether or not this document consisting of two pages of the private diary of Mr. Hill should be admitted depends on whether or not at the time of the arrest and the search of the premises, the officer acted in good faith."
"While the doctrine of probable cause assures a balance between the rights of the individual and those of the government with respect to the matter of arrest, the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches, particularly of a person's home, would be less than complete if a plenary search could be justified as incident to an arrest of a person mistakenly believed by an officer to be in immediate charge of the premises. Such a case is not one where the right of privacy must reasonably yield to the right of search." 67 Cal. Rptr., at 391.