Consent Searches

Consent to search is a valid exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.  A search without a warrant or any level of suspicion can be conducted if, under the totality of the circumstances, the officer obtained voluntary consent regardless of whether the officer advised that consent could be refused. United States v. Drayton, 536 U.S. 194, 206-07 (2002); Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 226-28 (1973). You do not need to know that you have the right to refuse consent (You do have to be advised that you have the right to remain silent, i.e. the Miranda Rights).  You can limit the scope of the search when giving consent. Your refusal to consent does not automatically create probable cause for a warrant to search.

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