Was The Consent to Search Valid: 5 Points To Review

When a police officer arrest or detains a citizen they often request consent of the citizen to search their vehicle. This is warrantless search that can be found lawful if the “consent” is ruled voluntary. Just because a citizen consents to a search does not automatically mean the consent is valid. The facts of each case determine whether a person’s consent was voluntary. Here 5 points that are important when the Voluntariness of the consent to search is an issue.

1.The prosecution has the burden of proof to establish to the trial court that the consent to search was given freely and voluntarily.

2. The prosecution must prove the voluntariness of consent by clear and convincing evidence.

3. The prosecution must prove  that the consent relied upon was given intentionally with out coercion (actual or implied).

4.The prosecution’s burden isn’t met by merely showing the citizen acquiesced or submitted to the officers claim of authority. Cases have been reversed where a person gave consent after an officer falsely informed them he had a warrant.

5.Consent induced  by threats or show of force is not voluntary. A judge will if consent was voluntary under these circumstances by  reviewing all the circumstances including the details of the request for consent and  the characteristics of the person who gave consent.

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