If an officer has a reasonable articulable suspicion that you may have a weapon on you, he may check you for his safety prior or during his questioning of you. Based on the facts as you describe them, the cop did have a right to arrest you for driving with a suspended license. once you are arrested the cop could probably go through your purse to inventory it's contents. Seeing as there are charges against you I suggest you retain an attorney and discuss ALL the facts and circumstances with him/her. S/he would be in the best position to assist you.