The rules of the game have changed and maybe it’s time that you and your spouse or roommate has a little conversation about police searches of your crib. The 4th Amendment protection of the U.S. Constitution has gotten a little bit smaller, due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday. According to the Christian Science Monitor the police can now enter your home and search it without a warrant in hand when, “occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested.”
The warrantless search was made possible when Walter Fernandez told the police they could not enter, but his girlfriend gave the law enforcement officers the A-Ok to enter the premises. Six of the justices decided that this made the police officers entry constitutional.
It seems that upon the police entry into Fernandez’s apartment they were able to collect a knife, gang-related paraphernalia and clothing which had been worn by a suspected robber. Fernandez and his attorney did not want the evidence allowed in court and moved to suppress it, claiming his right to be protected from warrantless search and seizure was an invasion, reported Christian Science Monitor.
Ordinarily that right would have held up in court, since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 2006 case that where there is a disagreement about whether to let the cops enter, the disagreement negates any police search of the residence without a warrant.
Yet for Fernandez he had the ill luck to have been arrested by the police after he had refused their entry. The cops circled back and spoke with the girlfriend who consented to the search, where the evidence linking the arrested culprit to certain crimes.
Unfortunately for the convicted felon, the nation’s high court felt that if there is a disagreement in a residence about whether the police have the right to enter, the disagreement sets aside any constitutional rights the home owner has if he is not there to object.
So Fernandez loses his appeal and the police have gained a new weapon against suspected criminals, by simply removing the suspected criminal from his house; sort of out of sight and out of legal luck.
Copyright © 2014 Kevin Fobbs. If you like this article you can subscribe above to receive email updates whenever Kevin Fobbs publishes on Examiner.com.Can Police Search Your Home If Someone Invites Them In? – Why Supreme Court Narrows Rights