Category Archives: Fourth Amendment

Can a guest allow the police to search your house?

I had the question asked: can a guest who is staying in your house allow the police to search? What about if they were to call the police and invite them to search? Would that evidence still be admissible against the homeowner?  Apparent authority is the key This is more than just a yes or […]

If you consent to a police search, can you limit where they can search? Orange County criminal defense attorney

If the police ask if they can search, can you put limits on where or how they can search?   The answer is yes… and no. If the police search is based on consent, the person giving consent can set limits as to the scope of the search. For example, you could give consent for […]

What is the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause?

Reasonable suspicion is what they need to detain you. Probable cause is what they need to search. Slightly different burdens and a slightly different analysis. If you’re contacted by the police, your first question should be, “Am I free to go?” If the answer is yes, then you are free to walk away. If they […]

Privacy, cell phones and police searches – lock up your phones!

The United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures.  Under the Fourth Amendment, the police must either have a search warrant or some recognized exception to be able to legally search (and therefore gather evidence to be used against you). One of the exceptions is a search “incident to an arrest.”  Since 1973, […]

Passengers rights in DUI checkpoint

With all the holiday DUI checkpoints that have occurred, I was asked recently about passengers’ rights.  For example, what if the police made observations about a passenger during a DUI checkpoint? As a passenger in a DUI checkpoint, you have the same rights as anyone else to challenge the legality of the checkpoint, the reasonableness […]