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Search warrant and criminal charges

A search warrant is a court order that allows law enforcement to enter a specific named location, potentially by force, and search for evidence of a crime.

Aida Dismondy | Jan 6, 2020

10 STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE YOUR COMPANY IS SERVED WITH A SEARCH WARRANT

Create procedures to address being served with a search warrant In likeness of other procedures in place to address various issues so too you must have in place procedures to handle a search warrant. These procedures will guide your first responders, and prepare everyone involved to handle the process. Identify outside counsel Whether you have in house counsel or not, it is important to identify outside counsel that will assist your company when it is served with a search warrant. In such an event you must contact the counsel immediately so counsel can be present when a search warrant is served. Counsel will also train and instruct employees how to respond if, and when contacted by law enforcement agents. More important counsel will review the search warrant to ensure what’s being searched is covered by the warrant and other matters related to the issue and execution of a search warrant. Counsel also will serve as a liaison between agents and company. These functions can also be performed by trained and knowledgeable, about these matters, in house counsel. Train employees When law enforcement shows up it is a nerve wrecking experience. People will act generally based on instinct or merely panic and not know how to act. You will Train employees for these events. Teach them to learn to remain calm under pressure. They need to know their rights, when to answer and when not to answer. Never instruct your employees to be disingenuous or divert from the truth. Don’t dig yourself into a bigger hole. Instruct your employees not to panic, to be cooperative, and not to resist; this is not a time for bravado. Critical in cooperation is the understanding that employees should not answers questions that go beyond what is necessary. Collect and document the reason for the investigation and the names of the government agents Discover what is the purpose for the investigation, who is the prosecuting attorney, what agency or department is investigating, who’s the lead investigator or lead government agent, and the names of agents conducting the search. Review and analyze the warrant If counsel is unavailable, or in-house counsel should, review the warrant, is it search only or also seizure – search includes searching for information seizure includes the seizure of property - the scope of the warrant and look for defects in the warrant. Note, the agents should not search any areas or premises not included in the warrant. Keep copies of important documents outside of your premises When enforcement agents seize documents, they will take originals and you will not have access to those documents, nor will they provide copies. So, it’s important to keep a copy of updated business records off site. At best you’ll continue operations without additional disruptions. Privileged information Mark them as such so they will not be searched or seized with other documents. Maintain and get an inventory of all items seized You have a right to request and maintain the inventory of the items seized and provided to the government. Press release and communication with media News spreads quickly. Draft ahead of time a press release to use and update when such events happens. You need to be prepared, the last task you want to deal with in a mess is being unprepared to handle communications with the public or the media. DO NOT destroy documents You don’t want an Enron situation. Should the company be target of an investigation then send an internal communication to all employees to retain and preserve documents.

Michael M. Stover | Aug 26, 2019

Attacking the validity of a search warrant by showing malice or reckless disregard for truth

YOU CAN REALLY ATTACK A WARRANT BECAUSE OF THE POLICE LYING!? Yes yes yes. “In certain circumstances, a challenge to a warrant's veracity must be permitted” Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164 (1978)" [N]o Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation . . . .” United States v. Halsey, 257 F. Supp. 1002, 1005 (SDNY 1966), aff'd, Docket No. 31369 (CA2, June 12, 1967), to put the matter simply: "[W]hen the Fourth Amendment demands a factual showing sufficient to comprise `probable cause,' the obvious assumption is that there will be a truthful showing" (emphasis in original). Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164-65 (1978). To mandate an evidentiary hearing, the challenger's attack must be more than conclusory and must be supported by more than a mere desire to cross-examine. There must be allegations of deliberate falsehood or of reckless disregard for the truth, and those allegations must be accompanied by an offer of proof. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 171 (1978). Once that burden is met, the Defense must show by a preponderance of the evidence, that with the omission of the afflicted statements, probable cause would no longer exist to search the premises or conveyance at issue. Id. At that point, the warrant, and the fruits thereof would be suppressed. “[P]olice [may] not insulate one officer's deliberate misstatement by relaying it through an affiant ignorant of its falsity.” Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164 n.6 (1978). So how do I get a hearing To mandate an evidentiary hearing, the challenger's attack must be more than conclusory and must be supported by more than a mere desire to cross-examine. There must be allegations of deliberate falsehood or of reckless disregard for the truth, and those allegations must be accompanied by an offer of proof. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 171 (1978). Once that burden is met, the Defense must show by a preponderance of the evidence, that with the omission of the afflicted statements, probable cause would no longer exist to search the premises or conveyance at issue. Id. At that point, the warrant, and the fruits thereof would be suppressed. “[P]olice [may] not insulate one officer's deliberate misstatement by relaying it through an affiant ignorant of its falsity.” Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164 n.6 (1978). What do I have to show? There must be allegations of deliberate falsehood or of reckless disregard for the truth, and those allegations must be accompanied by an offer of proof. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 171 (1978). Once that burden is met, the Defense must show by a preponderance of the evidence, that with the omission of the afflicted statements, probable cause would no longer exist to search the premises or conveyance at issue. Id. At that point, the warrant, and the fruits thereof would be suppressed. “[P]olice [may] not insulate one officer's deliberate misstatement by relaying it through an affiant ignorant of its falsity.” Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164 n.6 (1978). What If we win? At that point, the warrant, and the fruits thereof would be suppressed. “[P]olice [may] not insulate one officer's deliberate misstatement by relaying it through an affiant ignorant of its falsity.” Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 164 n.6 (1978). Example (Franks v. Delaware) In "Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 165 (1978), law enforcement asserted, in an affidavit for search warrant, that a statement given regarding the clothing that the Defendant normally wears was made directly to the affiant of the search warrant. In fact, the affiant never interviewed the individual, and the statement was based on hearsay from another officer that was “somewhat different” from the actual statement made by the witness. Id. at 166. The Court held that any statement found to be a misrepresentation directly places the credibility of the search warrant affidavit in question, and that misrepresentation should prompt the Court to hold a hearing determining the implications of the falsehood. Franks at 167. I deliberately did not include the outcome of Franks because it is a very fact specific inquiry. BOTTOM LINE: YOU BETTER MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE BEST HAND POSSIBLE TO PROCEED ON THIS AVENUE.

Stephen Cale | Feb 8, 2019

Reasons Not To Consent To A Search - Even If You're Innocent | Part 2

You Don't Know What Police Might Find So, you may say, *I don*t have anything illegal, and I*m not doing anything illegal.* But think about this situation. You and your friend are in a car. You*re the driver and your friend is the passenger. You*re going down the highway and you get pulled over because you*re speeding. The officer asks if you have anything illegal in the car, like drugs. You replied, *Of course not!* Then the officer asks if he can search your car. You reply, *Sure. Why not? I don*t have anything to hide.* As the officer*s rummaging through your car, he finds a marijuana pipe underneath the front passenger seat where your friend was sitting. Now you*ve got a problem. The officer decides to arrest both of you for joint possession of drug paraphernalia. You won*t be able to contest the search of the contraband because you consented to the search of your vehicle. This makes it harder * if not impossible * to argue that the search was illegal, the evidence of the pipe should be thrown out, and the case should be dismissed. Now, of course, your attorney will be able to argue that you had no knowledge of the drug pipe. One of my client*s had a marijuana possession charge. She was a passenger in her friend*s car. Unknown to her, there was a marijuana-packed cigarillo in the passenger door compartment. It took a lot of work, but I was able to get the case dismissed. Things would have been better had there been no search of her friend*s car. In fact, my client might not have been arrested without a search. Are you looking for the best criminal attorney to offer? Things like this actually do happen. Friends or acquaintances will leave or hide illegal substances in a car, a room, or bag, for example, without you even knowing it. You thought you didn*t have anything illegal, but it turns out you did. Again, while in some instances there may be a way to successfully fight the charge or even get an acquittal at a jury trial, your consent has made it all the harder for that to happen. What To Say If An Officer Asks For Consent To Search So, what should you say if an officer wants to search your person, car, house, apartment or any other property? That*s easy: *No, officer. I do not consent to a search, and I want a lawyer.* The first part of your statement tells the officer in plain, simple terms that you do not consent. Don*t say things like *I don*t think that*s a good idea,* or *You don*t need to do that.* The second part * that you want a lawyer * is powerful. The reason for this is that when you say that you want a lawyer, police must stop questioning you. An Officer Can't Force You To Consent To be valid, a consent to a search must be voluntary. The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution require that a consent not be coerced, by explicit or implicit means, or by implied threat or covert force. In determining whether a person voluntarily consented, courts look at the *totality of the circumstances.* That means that the court will look at all relevant facts concerning the search, rather than just one factor. Although officers are not required to advise a person that he or she has a right to refuse consent to search, this is one factor considered in the totality of circumstances. However, police tactics are coercive when they imply an individual has no right to refuse consent to search. Case Examples Of When Consent Was Deemed Involuntary So, remember, consent must be voluntary to be valid. Here are some examples where courts have found that consent was not voluntary: An officer*s false announcement that he has a warrant negates the possibility of consent. Bumper v. North Carolina, 391 U.S. 543 (1968). A statement is coercive when it *indicates that there are punitive ramifications to the exercise of the constitutional right to refuse consent* Edison v. Owens, 515 F.3d 1139, 1147 (10th Cir.2008). United States v. Medlin, 842 F.2d 1194, 1198 (10th Cir.1988) (affirming suppression of evidence because *it seems reasonable that Medlin would have believed when faced by federal and state officers with guns drawn that he had no right to resist* the search. This same principle applies when deceit or trickery is used to imply an individual has no ability to refuse consent. United States v. Hardin, 539 F.3d 404, 424*25 (6th Cir.2008) (*[A]lthough a ruse or officers* undercover activity does not usually violate individuals* rights, we have noted that where, for example, the effect of the ruse is to convince the resident that he or she has no choice but to invite the undercover officer in, the ruse may not pass constitutional muster.* United States v. Escobar, 389 F.3d 781, 786 (8th Cir.2004) (holding consent to luggage search was involuntary when police falsely claimed a drug dog had alerted on the bag, because police may not *convey a message that compliance with their requests is required*) Not all deceit and trickery is improper. For example, *an undercover agent may gain entry to a person*s home by deception and purchase narcotics with no violation of the fourth amendment.* Pleasant v. Lovell, 876 F.2d 787, 802 (10th Cir.1989) . But when the police misrepresentation is so extreme that it deprives a person of the ability to make a fair assessment of the need to surrender his privacy, the consent should not be considered valid.

Stephen Cale | Feb 8, 2019

Reasons Not To Consent To A Search - Even If You're Innocent | Part 1

Introduction | The 4th Amendment The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally speaking, police must have a warrant before conducting a search. However, there are six instances where a warrant is not required. One of those instances is when a person consents to the search. Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale says that you should never consent to a search of your person, home, boat, vehicle, or any of your property. If an officer asks whether it*s okay if he searches you or your property, tell the officer that it*s not and that you do not consent to search. Make it that simple: *No, officer. I do not consent.* You don*t even have to explain why you don*t consent. Be firm but polite when declining the officer*s request. Now, you might ask, *but what if I haven*t done anything wrong? Do I still need to refuse consent?* The answer, in my opinion, is *yes.* Here*s Part One of my five reasons you should never consent to a search. Refusing Consent Can HELP You If You Wind Up In Court In 1973, the U. S. Supreme Court held that police may conduct a valid warrantless search if they have a voluntary consent to do so. This means that your valid consent will make the search legal. Now, the scope of the search can be limited by the scope of the consent. In other words, you can consent to a search of only a particular area. A POSSIBLE SCENARIO Refusing consent can help you if you end up in court. Take this scenario. You*re driving down the highway and get pulled over for speeding. While talking to you, the officer asks if he can search your car. You refuse consent, but he tells you to get out your car and he searches it anyway. Under the front seat, he finds a marijuana pipe and arrests you for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. The drugs and the pipe aren*t even yours, and you had no idea that they were there. But you remember: you let your friend drive your car the night before. Those things are his! So, now you*ve been arrested, booked into jail, had to pay money to bond out, you*ve been charged with a crime even though you*re innocent, and your spending money for an attorney. This is the last thing that you needed. The drugs and paraphernalia really were not yours, but now you have this major interruption in your life. Attorney Cale files a motion to suppress (throw out) the evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search. Through witness testimony and a police body cam video, it*s clear that you refused consent and the officer made an unlawful search. Now the evidence can be thrown out in the charge dismissed. And it*s all because you asserted your rights and refused to consent to the search. Most people anticipate that law enforcement officers will do the right thing and will not overstep their legal bounds. But the truth of the matter is sometimes officers don*t do the right thing. They will intentionally or neglectfully make an unlawful search and seizure. It happens frequently and it could happen to you. All the more reason for you to refuse consent. An Officer's Lie That She Has A Warrant Negates The Possibility Of Consent The U. S. Supreme Court held that an officer*s false announcement that she had a warrant negated the possibility of consent. Here*s a summary of the facts. The defendant lived with his grandmother. Two days after an alleged rape, four law enforcement officers went to the defendant*s house. The grandmother answered the door. One of the officers announced, *I have a search warrant to search your house. The grandmother responded, *Go ahead,* and opened the door. Officers found a rifle in the kitchen. The rifle was later introduced into evidence at the defendant*s trial after a motion to suppress had been denied by the trial court. At the hearing on the motion to suppress, the prosecutor argued that the officers did not rely on a warrant to justify the search, but instead upon the consent of the grandmother. The issue presented to the Supreme Court was whether a search is lawful on the basis of consent when that consent has been given only after the law enforcement officer conducting the search has asserted that he possesses a warrant. The U. S. Supreme Court held that there can be no consent under such circumstances. When the prosecutor seeks to rely upon consent to justify the lawfulness of a search, he has the burden of proving that the consent was freely and voluntarily given. This burden cannot be upheld by showing mere acquiescence (given in) to a claim of lawful authority. Also, a search conducted in reliance upon a warrant cannot later be justified on the basis of consent if it turns out that the warrant was invalid. The high court said that the result can be no different when it turns out that the prosecution does not even attempt to rely upon the validity of the warrant or fails to show that there was, in fact, any warrant at all. The court went on to say that when a law enforcement officer claims authority to search a home under a warrant, he announces, in effect, that the occupant has no right to resist the search. The situation amounts to coercion. Consequently, where there is coercion, there cannot be voluntary consent.

Luigi Vigliotti | Jan 18, 2019

SEARCH WARRANTS CONTINUED

WHAT CONSTITUTES A SEARCH? A "search" has taken place if the police officer's method of observation involved the use of devices that substituted for his/her own perception. Pursuant to People v. Clark, 103 Misc.2d 498, 426 N.Y.S.2d 692 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., 1980), when a police officer is in a common hallway and puts his/her ear to the door of an apartment, the police officer is reasonable in his/her actions and has not violated 4th Amendment rights since listening with a naked ear from a hallway accessible to the public does not intrude upon any justified expectation of privacy of the occupants. Flashlights---Pursuant to United States v. Lee, 274 U.S. 559, 47 S.Ct. 746 (1927), flashlights are NOT considered a search if they are used. Binoculars---Pursuant to United States v. Kim, 415 F. Supp 1252 (D. Hawaii, 1976), binoculars are considered a search if they are used but only if they substitute for the perception of the police office instead of an aid to the perception of the police officer. In other words, if the officer uses the binoculars to assist him/her in seeing something better than they can already see, it's not a search. However, if the binoculars enable the officer to see something he/she cannot see with his/her own perceptions, then this is a search. Whether a search has occurred or not often is decided after a hearing where testimony is given and a judge may decide whether a search has occurred. Use of Dogs---Pursuant to United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696 (1983), dog sniffs are not considered a search. Dog sniffs only reveal criminality but they do not intrude on constitutional rights. In New York, the case of People v. Dunn, 77 N.Y.2d 19 (1990) held that the use of specially trained narcotics detection dogs to conduct a "canine sniff" does constitute a search within the meaning of NY Constitution, article I, section 12 since resort to this investigative technique enables police to obtain information regarding the contents of a place that has traditionally been accorded a heightened expectation of privacy. However, given the uniquely discriminate and nonintrusive nature of such an investigative device, as well as its significant utility to law enforcement authorities, it may be used without a warrant or probable cause, provided that the police have a reasonable suspicion that a residence contains illicit contraband. Accordingly, where law enforcement authorities had a reasonable suspicion that defendant's apartment contained illegal drugs, the police had sufficient justification, while lawfully in the common hallway outside the apartment, to conduct a *canine sniff*, and defendant's rights under NY Constitution, article I, * 12 were not infringed. Mail Cover is the inspection of the outside of every envelope that comes in a person's mail. Mail covers are not considered searches pursuant to United States v. Choate, 576 F.2d 165 (9th Cir., 1978). A pen register is a record of all of a person's outgoing calls from a particular phone. Conversations can be heard as a result of this process. Reasonable suspicion is necessary to get a pen register in New York. WHAT CONSTITUTES A SEARCH---CONTINUED AND WHAT CONSTITUTES A SEIZURE? Federally, a pen register is NOT considered a search as explained in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). Trap & Trace Devices are records of all of a person's incoming calls from a particular phone; conversations cannot be heard via this process. A trap and trace device is not considered a search. Bumper Beepers are attached to a person's automobile to track their movement. Bumper beepers are not considered a search when they are used to aid the perception of the police officer as explained in United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983). If the beeper provides information that is not found from visible surveillance as well then the beeper is considered a search pursuant to United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984) and People v. Colon, 96 Misc2d 659(Sup. Ct., Bronx Co., 1978). What Constitutes a Seizure: (1) In the Federal system, the US Supreme Court stated in California v. Hodari, 499 U.S. 621 (1991). that pursuit does NOT constitute a seizure. Seizure is an application of physical force or a submission to authority. (2) In New York, pursuant to People v. Cantor, 36 N.Y.2d 106 (1975), a seizure is when an individual is physically or constructively detained by a police officer, interrupting or limiting his/her movement. In New York, a seizure does NOT have to involve the physical touching of a detainee. In New York, pursuit is a seizure. In New York, shouting "freeze, police!" is a seizure. A police officer drawing his gun is also a seizure. Saying Stop can be considered DeBour Level 1 conduct and is allowed. A police officer can handcuff a suspect based upon reasonable suspicion of a crime.

Luigi Vigliotti | Jan 17, 2019

SEARCH WARRANTS---A BASIC PRIMER

Basic Concepts of Search Warrants Search warrants are governed by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Law section 41 and New York Criminal Procedure Law 690. The reason why a judge is required to obtain a warrant is that a neutral person who is presumably detached from the case must decide whether there is probable cause to search. Otherwise, without a judge, the government would have unfettered discretion to search the person and property of all citizens without adequate factual and/or legal justification. Once property is seized by the government pursuant to a search warrant, a police officer (or other law enforcement agent) must, without unnecessary delay, return to the court with property and must file a written inventory of the property. The warrant application may be made in writing or orally. The affidavit in support of the warrant must be made by a public servant (e.g., a police officer, an assistant district attorney or another public servant). Moreover, there must be reasonable cause (aka probable cause) to believe that a certain type of property can be found in a certain place and there must be facts to support that assertion. When executing a warrant, there must be reasonable effort by the police to give notice of their authority and purpose and a copy of the warrant must be shown to the person whose premises it is upon request. If the police are not admitted after they knock and give notice of their authority and purpose, then the police may use whatever force is necessary in order to execute the warrant. Special Requests in Search Warrants Special requests in warrants: That the warrant be executed at any time---day or night. If there is reasonable cause to believe that the warrant cannot be executed between 6 AM and 9 PM or that the property could be destroyed, a warrant dictating that it may be executed at any time of day might be issued. A "no-knock warrant" gives authority to the police to enter a premises without knocking and without giving notice of their authority and purpose. This type of warrant is issued if the police have reasonable cause to believe that the property sought may be easily destroyed or that someone is in danger (the police officer or someone else). If there is a chance of physical destruction of property or serious injury to a person, a "no knock" warrant may be issued.

Alexander Thomas Jones | Jan 3, 2019

The Cops Are At My Door - Now What?

Knock, knock, knock! The police have just knocked on your door. Maybe it's early, maybe it's late - either way, you did not invite them. First, be respectful. These are individuals from the community who are just trying to do a job. Second, remain calm and politely ask them why they are there. Do not make any incriminating statements. Do not make any statements. Do not give them access to the inside of your home. Do not let them see into your home. They're smooth talkers... Of course they are, it's part of their job. Unless the police show you a search warrant that pertains to the inside of your home, it is unlikely they legally can cross the threshold of your front door. They'll probably call you buddy and they'll probably say if you cooperate they'll help you. If you haven't already done so, ask them politely if you're under arrest. If you are not, ask them politely if you are free to leave. If you are not, tell them you want to contact an attorney. If you're free to leave, get out of there. Then follow the next step. Contact a lawyer! Before you make any statements to the police (or any other government employee) it is always advisable to first speak with an attorney. In fact, you have a right to do so before speaking with a police officer. Any statement, literally any statement, you make to the police WILL be used against you. Whether or not you're charged with a crime, you should always consider contacting an attorney after the police show up at your home.

Joshua Paul Stein | Dec 28, 2017

Police Inventory Searches: Valid or not?

Determine whether the original arrest First step to determine whether an inventory search is valid is to determine whether the arrest that lead to the arrest was lawful. If the arrest is not lawful, then the inventory search is not valid. The Fourteenth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizures. Decide whether an inventory search needs a warrant A valid inventory search is a well-recognized exception to a search warrant. The validity of the inventory search is governed by three factors; protecting the private property while in police custody, protection of the police from claims of lost or stolen private property, and protecting the police from potential danger. To substantiate a valid inventory search, the impoundment must be valid to which the validity of the impoundment must be authorized by statute or under the police routine administrative caretaking function. Thus, a search under the police caretaking function, the State must show that the vehicle posed a threat or harm to the community, the vehicle was imperiled, and the decision for impoundment is consistent in keeping with well-established departmental routine. Deciphering whether an impoundement is necessary Impoundment of an illegally parked vehicle is not always valid under the constraints of an inventory search. The illegally parked vehicle must present a hazard within reasonable objective policing standards. Id. Factors in determining whether the vehicle is a hazard include the degree the vehicle is under control of the defendant and with the suspected length of time the vehicle would be left unattended would the vehicle be exposed to an unacceptable risk of theft of vandalism.

Daniel Wallace Boocher | Aug 29, 2017

Top 3 Reasons Police Use to Search Your Home in Michigan

1. They have a search warrant. Far and away, if police just searched a home, they likely had a search warrant. To acquire a search warrant for a residence, police need essentially four things. First, police need probable cause. Probable cause is simply the quantum of proof necessary to show that a reasonable person would conclude that evidence of a crime will be found within the home. Second, police must state with particularity the items to be seized. Third, the officer applying for the search warrant (i.e., the "affiant") must make an oath and affirmation that everything in the warrant is true. And lastly, police need the approval and signature of neutral and detached magistrate--a judge that has nothing to personally or professionally gain from the police searching the home. A search conducted with a warrant is presumed reasonable. A search conducted without a search warrant is presumed unreasonable and unconstitutional, unless a specific and well-delineated exception to this so-called "search warrant rule" exists. The remaining two reasons are examples of such exceptions. 2. Exigent circumstances exist. Even without a warrant, police may enter a home under an exception known as "exigent circumstances." Under this rule, police may enter and search a home to do one of two things: (1) find a fleeing suspect that they are in "hot pursuit" of, or (2) find and seize evidence that they believe will inevitably be destroyed before they have time to acquire a search warrant. In either instance, the search is limited by the exigency. For example, police may enter home when they believe a large quantity of drugs within the home will be flushed down the toilet; however, the police may not search in locations that would be too small to contain the quantity of drugs (i.e., police may not look for an elephant in a bread basket). Likewise, once the exigency ends, so too much the search. While police are in the home, anything illegal that they see and can legally acquire that is in "plain view," is admissible in court. This so-called "plain view doctrine" exists when police are in a home they are legally allowed to be in (e.g., they either have a warrant or exigent circumstances exist), when they have a lawful right of access to the items to be seized (not only that they are visible to the officers), and when the incriminating nature of the items is readily apparent without manipulation. An extension of the exigent circumstances doctrine is the community caretaking function of rendering immediate aid to those in need. If police believe that emergency aid must be rendered by entering a home without a warrant, they may do so as long as the belief is reasonable and adhere to the limitations as outlined above. Plain view may also play a role when rendering emergency aid. Also, if a person was recently arrested within the home, police may perform a cursory "protective sweep" in order to assure that nobody is able to launch an immediate surprise attack upon them. 3. You consented. Police need not bother with getting a search warrant when the resident of the home consents to the police searching it. The consent, though, must be given voluntarily and without police coercion. But what if two co-tenants of the property are present when officers ask for consent, and one objects to the police searching the property? Which tenant wins? The answer is that the objecting tenant's answer prevails. If one tenant is present when the police ask for consent and objects to the consent, then the police may not enter without a search warrant or an exception to the search warrant rule. However, if only one tenant is present and consents, police may search wherever they believe that resident had authority to give consent to search. That person need not even be a resident of the property; the police only need to reasonable believe that he or she is a resident in order to warrant searching the premises.