Can police search a camper truck without a warrant under a pretense of helping wife get her property


Manage episode 354115456 series 3389815
By Anton Vialtsin, Esq. and Anton Vialtsin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

A search typically requires a warrant based on probable cause. SeeUnited States v. Dalton , 918 F.3d 1117, 1127 (10th Cir. 2019). "Searches conducted without a warrant are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment—subject only to a few ‘specifically established and well-delineated exceptions.’ " Roska ex rel. Roska v. Peterson , 328 F.3d 1230, 1248 (10th Cir. 2003) (quoting Katz v. United States , 389 U.S. 347, 357, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967) ). Although "the defendant bears the burden of proving whether and when the Fourth Amendment was implicated," Hernandez , 847 F.3d at 1263 (quotations omitted), "[t]he government then bears the burden of proving that its warrantless actions were justified [by an exception]," United States v. Carhee , 27 F.3d 1493, 1496 (10th Cir. 1994). If the government establishes that an exception to the warrant requirement applies, the search is constitutional. SeeUnited States v. Maestas , 2 F.3d 1485, 1491-92 (10th Cir. 1993). The Government relies on the community-caretaking exception here.

The community-caretaking exception allows the government to introduce evidence obtained through searches that are "totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute." Cady v. Dombrowski , 413 U.S. 433, 441, 93 S.Ct. 2523, 37 L.Ed.2d 706 (1973). "Noninvestigatory searches of automobiles pursuant to this function ... do not offend Fourth Amendment principles so long as such activities are warranted in terms of state law or sound police procedure, and are justified by concern for the safety of the general public ...." United States v. Lugo , 978 F.2d 631, 635 (10th Cir. 1992) (quotations omitted).

The government must also point to "specific and articulable facts which reasonably warrant an intrusion into the individual's liberty," and must show that "the government's interest ... outweigh[s] the individual's interest in being free from arbitrary governmental interference."

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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