Warrantless Searches

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Decision — Warrantless Searches Okay If One Occupant Of Shared Residence Consents

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. With some exceptions, law enforcement must obtain a warrant based on probable cause before conducting a search of private property or...more

Your Expectation of Privacy in Your Cell Phone is Currently Governed by the Law of the State in Which You are Arrested

Last year the Washington State Supreme Court considered two cases addressing the expectation of privacy one has when sending a text message. On February 27, 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in two parallel 5-4...more

Maryland v. King: Possibly The Most Important Criminal Procedure Case in Decades

Many Supreme Court observers, including no less than Justice Samuel Alito himself, have described Maryland v. King as perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that the Court has decided in decades. While this may...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Warrantless Home Search

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Home Search Where One Occupant Consents Following Suspect’s Arrest - Overview: The Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can conduct warrantless home searches based upon one...more

Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Inspections of Hotel Records is Unconstitutional

Motel owners challenged a Los Angeles Municipal Code provision requiring hotel guest records to be made available to any Los Angeles Police Department officer for inspection. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Police Need Search Warrant to Examine Hotel/Motel Registers

Municipal Code Section Allowing Warrantless Inspection of Hotel Guest Records Constitutes Search - Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently held that a police officer’s non-consensual warrantless inspection of hotel guest...more

Short Wins - Last Post Of The Year Edition

It's generally a slow time of year between Christmas and New Year's, but the federal circuits have been busy. But who wouldn't want to start the year with a remand in a criminal case (other than the government)?...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Warrantless Searches and Consent Granted by Houseguests: Houseguest Could Not Consent to Search of Specific...

Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently reversed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress the fruits of a home search. The court found the government had the burden of establishing a houseguest had the “apparent authority”...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Qualified Immunity: Warrantless Entry in Hot Pursuit of Misdemeanant Not "Plainly Incompetent"

Overview: The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed a Ninth Circuit decision denying qualified immunity to a California police officer in hot pursuit of a suspected misdemeanant. The suspect had entered an enclosed front yard...more

Smartphone Searches, Not Too Smart

On the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court 2013 to 2014 session is a case about warrantless searches of smartphones. The decision could affect hundreds of suspects who were tried and convicted based on cellphone evidence...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Private Search: Search of Computer Images Previously Viewed by Repair Technician Lawful

Overview: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld evidence of child pornography obtained from two searches of a defendant’s computer and home office. In the first search, a CompUSA service technician called police...more

Appeals Court: Forced Rectal Search of Suspect Violates 4th Amendment

In a recent opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit addressed whether it was constitutionally reasonable for police to use a doctor – in this case, a doctor “who is known to conduct unconsented intrusive...more

Are Courts Diluting Protection From Unlawful Searches?

Evidence comes in many forms. What you say and the objects in your possession can be used against you by law enforcement officers if your statements and property are legally obtained. But what about the information on your...more

Proposed NJ Bill Would Permit Police Cell Phone Search But May Help Protect Victim Rights In Car Accidents

Distracted driving in the United States injured an estimated 387,000 people in 2011 and killed 3,000 more. An increasing number of distractions each year involve the use of cell phones. No wonder, then, the New Jersey Senate...more

Supreme Court Weighs In On Drug-Sniffing Dogs

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Fourth Amendment constitutional protections against the unreasonable search and seizure tactics in Florida v. Jardines....more

New Jersey DUI Blood Sampling Law In Flux

The common police tactic of getting blood or urine samples from individuals suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) is currently in flux....more

Federal Judge Rejects NYPD’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policies

In a decision issued today that could potentially change the way police operate in the Big Apple, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that, for years, New York City police officers have been...more

Of Poisonous Trees And Their Fruit: Illegal Searches

Wat if I got 2 take him 2 da hospital wat do I say and dos marks on his neck omg. A text on a cell phone. Most text messages are not this dramatic and most text messages do not set off a firestorm of debate about...more

Week in Review - August 1, 2013

Some people spend more time with their smartphones than with their friends. This attachment to technology has a number of implications, and not just for a person’s social life. This week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Concerned About NSA Snooping? Perhaps You Should Be More Concerned About The DOJ And SEC

In 2008, Rajat Gupta made a handful of short phone calls to his friend Raj Rajaratnam. The information that Gupta conveyed to Rajaratnam in those phone calls is now likely to cost Gupta millions of dollars, two years in...more

CFPB: Spying to Protect the Consumer

It all began with a Bloomberg article. Although the CFPB spying on the financial habits of at least 10 million consumers seems to be a far cry from NSA's spying on the telephone calls, emails, snail mails, website usage, and...more

Math Test Equals Strip Search? It Just Doesn’t Add Up

Recently in Quebec, a high-school staff stripped searched a class of twenty eight sophomores before a math exam. ...more

Can The Police Search My Cell Phone Without Permission?

Many of us store our most intimate information on our mobile phones....more

Week in Review - July 11, 2013

When news broke about the NSA surveillance program, privacy became a hot topic. This week, the debate about how to maintain privacy in the digital age continues with Facebook's recent release of its Graph Search function to...more

Warrantless Searches of Electronic Communication

Recent news about federal executive agencies obtaining information on private citizens without warrants has many Americans concerned about an erosion of civil liberties. Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the...more

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