I’m preferring someone with experience in law to write this assignment. The attachment titled “week 2” is the story and the questions that need to be covered in this report. Please make sure you tie in the cases(Illinois v. Rodriguez, Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, Florida v. Jimeno) into the questions that need to be answered. The topics covered for this assignment are plain view, exclusionary rule & search incident to arrest. Please research these topics to better understand how you can tie them in with the questions that need to be answered. USE CREDIBLE SOURCES!!! The attachments titled “grade/grades” is what needs to be covered in this report and what my professor will use to grade this assignment. I NEED AT LEAST 1 to 2 pages. This assignment is more about the facts rather than your own personal opinion. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks!
Warrantless Search of Vehicles
An officer is given proper consent to search the vehicle when the owner willfully tells him/her to go ahead with the search. The Schneckloth v. Bustamonte case is a similar case that shaped the judicial approach to handling similar cases. Bustamonte gave consent to search his car but was found in possession of illegal goods. His consent was ruled out as proper consent since he personally agreed to the search. Even though he later contested on grounds of not knowing the law of consent, the court agreed that they could not rule out the conviction since other defendants would also contest on similar grounds (Hartman, 2014). In our case, since the owner of the car is the one who gave consent, it should be considered as proper consent as well to uphold the professionalism of the law in matters pertaining to consent.
It was right for the officer to ask for consent from the owner of the car. According to Illinois v. Rodriguez (1990), the police are allowed to rely on good faith if they reasonably believe they are in accordance with the law (Lippman, 2010). The officer searching the car believed that the owner was the man who was sitting by the grass as he had been informed by the driver. It was therefore okay for him to ask for consent from the owner believing that he had the right documentation to prove that he owned the car. The police officer also did not expect that the driver could lie to him so he reasonably believed in good faith. Even though the driver could have lied, the court during Illinois v. Rodriguez already held the reliance on apparent authority of a third party to consent.
The officer is allowed by the law to search under the seat. During Florida v. Jimeno, the court approved consensual searches because it is no doubt reasonable for the police to conduct a search once they have been permitted to do so (Rutledge, 2019). It is important to note that the officer searching the car found a closed paper bag, and also searched it. When Jimeno claimed that he did not give consent to search the bag, the court agreed and excluded the bag. However, in our case, searching under the seat is within the consensual agreement between the owner, and the officer because the drugs are within the plain view context and not in an enclosed compartment. The items were unconcealed which means that they could serve as evidence of a crime. The officer then had all the right to search under the chair.
In conclusion, it is vital to consider additional factors that would strengthen or weaken the admissibility of the evidence. Addition of the fact that the owner was drunk when giving the consent could weaken the admissibility of the evidence since a drunk persons consent is not always reliable consent. The Fourth Amendment rights of the owner would then be in violation if his consent is ruled out. The exclusionary rule clearly states that evidence is deemed inadmissible if the Fourth Amendment rights are violated. However, addition of reasonable suspicion to back up the warrantless search of the vehicle could strengthen the admissibility of the cocaine seizure since reasonable suspicion serves as the required minimum to search without a warrant. The officer, however, needs to act on common sense and reason.
Hartman, G. (2014). Landmark Supreme Court Cases: The Most Influential Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, (pp. 350-351). Infobase Publishing
Lippman, M. (2010). Criminal Procedure (pp. 422). SAGE
Rutledge, D. (2019). 2019 Criminal Evidence and Procedure: An introduction to Constitutional Principles for Searches, Seizures, Interrogation, & Identification. LawTech Publishing Group