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TruthFinder
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Category: Criminal Law
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My boyfriend was arrested the other for drugs while on ...

Customer Question

My boyfriend was arrested the other for drugs while on probation. The thing is we moved in together and his PO knew but had not approved it yet and was just turning his head at the situation. So techniqly it was never down on paper that he was living at this house. It down on paper that he was living with a friend about 2 miles away, which was his approved home plan. They searched my house which was not his approved residence and when I came home they were already searching and did not show me a warrent or anything. Do they have the right to search without a warrent if this was not his approved residence?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TruthFinder replied 6 years ago.

Technically they have the right to search wherever he is, but since this was not his home or where he was suppose to be living then they should have given you notification of some kind so that you could give permission. However, since that is where is had been living it could be argued that they had probable cause to search the location as they were working under the assumption that it was his residence and therefore they would not have needed permission. He could also have his probation revoked for not following the terms of the original agreement and living in a residence other than the one on file. You may have a case against the probation officer, however, if he was aware of the change in address and simply did not change it. On the other hand, if his probation simply did not allow him to live at any other location and the officer was simply allowing it by acting like he did not know, then it would be a hard issue to prove.

So, this is going to be dependent on the actual terms of his probation. If is stated that he agreed to the condition that he could be searched anytime, anywhere, and you were also aware of that condition, they you both, by way of him having your permission to live there, gave implied consent to law enforcement to search your home and his person.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to TruthFinder's Post: His PO knew that he was living part of the time with me and said to me that he was turning his head at the fact that my boyfriend was living here. The PO knew where he was staying but never documented it and was allowing it. I also was not aware of the fact that they could search anytime.
Expert:  TruthFinder replied 6 years ago.

Whether he knew or not it is not his documented legal residence and therefore is a violation of his probation; yet since the PO knew that is where he was staying, he could have protection from the Forth Amendment laws if he had reasonable cause to search. Your boyfriend was aware that as a term of his probation that he is subject to search and seizure at anytime; therefore they will argue that you had to have known and consented by allowing him to stay there. However, if this search was done by police rather than his probation officer, they may have been required to have a warrant to search as they are not covered by the state's probation regulations. An article that may help you understand is located HERE and the state's probation regulations are stated HERE in a sample of a document he had to have signed:

"I expressly consent to the search of my person, property and residence, without a warrant by officers of the Adult Probation and Parole Department of Beaver County. Any items, possessed which constitute a violation of probation, parole and/or Intermediate Punishment shall be subject to seizure, and may be used as evidence in the revocation process."

So, they will argue that he consented to the search, but you can contest that the PO was aware that this was not his documented residence, and they will argue that you made the PO aware that it was his residence by giving him permission to live there (this again, implies consent).

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