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Do Police Need A Warrant To Search Property

1648 words - 7 pages

Jennifer Springer
Business Law - Final Paper

Do Police Need a Warrant to Search Property
On February 15, 2014 the Supreme Court ruled it would honor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement when one cotenant refuses a warrantless search prior to being arrested, and then police receiving consent by the other cotenant to search the property.
If a person’s health and safety are threatened by a domestic abuser, exigent circumstances would justify immediate removal of the abuser from the premises. Domestic abuse is indeed a serious problem in the United States, appropriate policy responses to this scourge may include fostering effective counseling, providing public information ...view middle of the document...

Request was denied and an exception was noted.
Officers were called as witnesses, as deputy collectors of internal revenue, they went to defendant's home, and, not finding him there, but finding his wife, told her that they were revenue officers and had come to search the premises "for violations of the revenue law". The wife consented for the witnesses entered, founding bottles illicitly distilled whisky. Both testified that they did not have any warrant for the arrest, nor any search warrant and that the search was made during the daytime, in the absence of the defendant, who did not appear on the scene until after the search had been made. The constitutional rights of defendant were waived when his wife admitted the government officers, who came, without warrant, demanding consent to search, cannot be entertained. Is it possible for a wife, in the absence of her husband, to waive his constitutional rights, for it is clear that, under the implied coercion, no such waiver was intended or effected? The judgment of the District Court was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
More recently United States vs Matlock 1974, Matlock was arrested in the front yard for the robbery of a federally insured bank in Wisconsin. Officers received oral and written consent to search the property from Mrs. Graff (co-occupant). After being indicted Matlock filed a motion to suppress the evidence seized from the home. The Court reaffirmed the principle that the search of property, without warrant and without probable cause, but with proper consent voluntarily given, is valid under the Fourth Amendment.
However in the case of Georgia vs Randolph, Janet Randolph (wife) complained to the police that after a domestic dispute her husband took their son away. When officers reached the house she told them that her husband was a cocaine user whose habit had caused financial troubles. Scott Randolph (husband) denied cocaine use, and countered that it was in fact his wife who abused drugs and alcohol. One of the officers went with Janet to reclaim the child, and when they returned she not only renewed her complaints about her husband’s drug use, but also volunteered that there were items of drug evidence in the house. Police asked Scott for permission to search the house, which he unequivocally refused. The officer turned to Janet for consent to search, which she readily gave. She led the officer upstairs to a bedroom where the he noticed a section of a drinking straw with a powdery residue he suspected was cocaine. He then left the house to get an evidence bag from his car and to call the district attorney’s office which instructed him to stop the search and apply for a warrant. When the officer returned to the house, Janet withdrew her consent. The police took the straw to the police station, along with the Randolph’s. After getting a search warrant, they returned to the house and seized further evidence of drug...

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