Exceptions to a Search Warrant: Consent

If you voluntarily consent to a search of your property, you are waiving your Fourth Amendment constitutional right to the search and seizure of your property. In other words, when a defendant consents to a search, the police do not need to obtain a warrant. However, in certain situations, the consent may not be valid. As such, it is imperative that a Pierce County criminal felony lawyer investigates the validity of the consent to the search first.

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Prosecution Has Burden of Proof


The prosecution bears the burden of proving that the defendant voluntarily waived his or her Fourth Amendment right under the totality of the circumstances by consenting to the police search.


Some of the factors that the court needs to consider in determining the relevant circumstances include:


–          Defendant’s knowledge of his or her constitutional right to refuse consent

–          The age, education and language ability of the defendant

–          How much the defendant cooperated with the police

–          The likelihood of the police discovering contraband


If the Pierce County criminal felony lawyer can prove that the police made a false representation of having a warrant, it invalidates an otherwise legal consent.


Third Party Consent


A third party who has some common authority over the property or premises to be searched can give consent to the police. However, if the co-occupant is present and expressly refuses the search, there is no consent, and the warrantless search becomes invalid.


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For more information about consent to a warrantless search, call Pierce County criminal felony lawyer

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