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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I have a friend that was staying at my home and was in the

Customer Question

I have a friend that was staying at my home and was in the process of moving out. He has no proof of residency(No mail sent to address, State ID doesnt say he lives there and isnt on the mortgage. I had three undercover officers come to my home when i wasnt there and he was. The coame into the house with no warrant and asked to look around he gave them consent do so. Is my 4th amendment right being broken and should I take this to court?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 5 years ago.
It's not a simple yes or no because of the concepts of third-party consent, actual authority, and apparent authority.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that “the consent of one who possesses common authority over premises or effects is valid as against the absent, nonconsenting person with whom that authority is shared.” U.S. v. Matlock. Furthermore, "if law enforcement officers reasonably believe that a third party has common authority over the premises, and hence the authority to consent to a search, the third party’s consent is valid despite the fact that he or she may not possess the actual authority to consent. This is known as the doctrine of “apparent authority.” Illinois v. Rodriguez.

Thus, if the person had access to the area searched or reasonably appeared to have access to the area searched his/her consent gave the police authority to search that area.

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