45 votes
Accepted

How is a plain-clothes officer entering your house not an unreasonable search?

Wooden made two arguments to suppress the evidence, first that he had not consented to the officer entering his house (the officer and the court disagreed) and the second that even if the officer's ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 4,650
44 votes

Ordered to unlock my car trunk. May I lawfully refuse?

If you comply without protest, this will be taken as consent to a search, and make anything found admissible. One can verbally object. The ACLU suggests the form "I do not consent to searches&...
David Siegel's user avatar
37 votes

Can teachers search our dorms without our explicit consent if they have "suspicion"?

A private school in the US is not bound by the 4th Amendment requirement for searches to be "reasonable", just as parents do not need a search warrant to search your room. Instead, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
36 votes
Accepted

Can police arrest you to later fish for probable cause?

Police may not arrest you without probable cause, and the existence of probable cause is evaluated “at the moment of the arrest.” Beck v. State of Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 96 (1964). Therefore, police may ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 59.3k
35 votes

How is a plain-clothes officer entering your house not an unreasonable search?

If a plain-clothes officer entered your house without your permission or a warrant, then it would indeed run afoul of the 4th Amendment (and the same is true for a uniformed officer.) But essentially ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 2,982
31 votes
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Can I tell police to wait and call a lawyer when served with a search warrant?

You cannot legally force police to wait to carry out the search. They can search even if you are not present. In fact, they are required to execute the warrant within a certain time frame, which ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
27 votes

Stopping a warrantless police search?

Don't consent. Say so (ideally in a well documented way, like on video). Challenge the fruits of any unlawful search after the fact in a suppression hearing, or in a civil rights lawsuit. There is ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
24 votes
Accepted

Do the police need probable cause or a search warrant to search a rental car being driven by someone who didnt rent the vehicle?

In general, people have less expectation of privacy in cars than in their homes. To challenge a search and/or seizure under the Fourth Amendment, a person must have standing - the right to sue (that ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 356
24 votes
Accepted

In the US are you allowed to impose restriction on the government when they want to enter your house without a warrant?

They must comply with your restrictions, via the principle that consent can be withdrawn. One relevant Supreme Court case is Walter v. US 447 US 649, which declares that When an official search is ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
20 votes
Accepted

Would it be legal to erase, disable, or destroy your phone when a CBP agent attempted to seize it?

This is going to depend on what you think or know is on the phone, why you want to keep it undisclosed, and why the officer says s/he wants it. If one knows or has good reason to think that there is ...
David Siegel's user avatar
20 votes

Can teachers search our dorms without our explicit consent if they have "suspicion"?

in some cases underwear and other things were missing. This is a bigger problem than merely entering dorms. Theft is unambiguously a crime. Additionally, theft of underwear, especially from underage ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,711
19 votes
Accepted

What would happen if there is an attempt by police to deceive a judge to get a warrant?

You are correct. A judge may only issue a warrant when it is supported by an affidavit, in which the officer seeking the warrant swears under oath to the facts supporting the warrant. Lying on the ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 59.3k
18 votes
Accepted

What does a search warrant actually look like? How can I recognize one?

The exact form used can vary based on the court. At the federal level, the Administrative Office for the US Courts has a standardized form, although I don’t know that district courts have to use it. ...
cpast's user avatar
  • 23.9k
18 votes

Can I tell police to wait and call a lawyer when served with a search warrant?

You can certainly call your lawyer when the warrant is served but the police are going to seize the evidence they want to since the warrant is at this stage considered valid. There are several ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
17 votes

What does a search warrant actually look like? How can I recognize one?

So it's going to vary from state to state, but typically a warrant will be presented as a printed document on white paper. The may be a letter head or official symbol at the top. As per the documents ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
16 votes

Can I tell police to wait and call a lawyer when served with a search warrant?

Your protection from unauthorized searches is granted through inadmissibilty of evidence not through preventing the search. So if the police show up at your door and only present a supermarket receipt ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 3,466
15 votes

Can police arrest you to later fish for probable cause?

It depends on the meaning of "can." Do you mean to ask whether it is lawful, or whether it is possible for police to make such an arrest, or whether it is possible for such an arrest to ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.2k
13 votes

If I owe state taxes, can the state seize a relative's property in retaliation?

The government cannot seize property because a person residing at that property has a tax debt: the debtor has to have a legal interest in the property, which you say you don't have. The government ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
11 votes

What would happen if there is an attempt by police to deceive a judge to get a warrant?

Evidence obtained under a warrant supported by a falsely-sworn affidavit can be challenged as inadmissible, see Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, if the defendant makes a substantial preliminary ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
11 votes

Can I tell police to wait and call a lawyer when served with a search warrant?

Jurisdiction germany: The police does not have to wait, but common advise is to call a lawyer or at least a neighbour to act as a witness and ask the police to wait. The common principle of ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 675
10 votes
Accepted

If an officer has a warrant to collect an electronic device, can the owner insist it's turned off first?

Does the person being searched have the right to demand the computer be turned off before it is taken on the grounds that the warrant is only for the computer, not for the activity he is currently ...
K-C's user avatar
  • 4,024
10 votes
Accepted

Why hasn't civil asset forfeiture been ruled unconstitutional?

Civil forfeiture typically pits the government against property, not the government against an individual, and in the US (also anywhere else), only people have rights: property has no rights. The ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
10 votes
Accepted

illegally aquired information in Sweden

It most likely can be used (there is no "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine). Drawing on this analysis (I can't locate Nytt juridiskt arkiv 1986 online). (Rättegångsbalken, SFS 1942:740) Chapter ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
8 votes

Can I booby-trap my property against police?

People have covered the harm-to-people booby trapping at length, and that one's pretty straightforward anyway. I'm going to focus on another area: Destruction of documents I worked for a Big-Data ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

If I do not password protect my phone, do I forfeit reasonable expectation of privacy?

I'm not aware of case law on point, other than Riley, which you mention (which doesn't mean that there isn't any - I'm not a specialist in this area). But, I think that the answer would be that you ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
8 votes
Accepted

Is stolen property being seen on my property grounds for a search warrant?

Keep in mind that a warrant doesn't require proof that you stole the property or have the property. Instead, the warrant is just authorization to look for that proof. The standard for securing a ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 59.3k
8 votes
Accepted

Is it illegal to have two over-the-counter pills in the same jar?

There is commonly a law like RCW 69.50.309 which says that A person to whom or for whose use any controlled substance has been prescribed, sold, or dispensed by a practitioner, and the owner of ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
8 votes

Can a police officer enter with no warrant or cause, and must I comply with orders if one does?

united-states This question does not indicate in what jurisdiction the hypothetical events take place. Since they are hypothetical, I am going to assume the United States. Perhaps other answers will ...
David Siegel's user avatar
8 votes

Does allowing a police officer into your house implicitly waive your Fourth Amendment rights?

Yes and No See Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967): What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But what ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
8 votes
Accepted

In the USA can a child legally authorize a search of a residence he lives in?

The central legal question would be whether the minor has the capacity and authority to consent to a search: in the context of search law, the police would have to have a reasonable belief that both ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k

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