Thursday, July 16, 2015

No reasonable suspicion BUT consent saved the day!!

In United States v. Lee, the Sixth Circuit held that a tip that there were possible weapons at a parolee's house was insufficient to provide reasonable suspicion to allow a search of the residence.  Under the Court's "parolee search" precedent, officers may search a parolee's home without a warrant if they have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.  Here, the Court found that the tip that weapons were present in Lee's home was from an unknown source, passed through multiple layers of hearsay, and therefore could not provide a basis for the search.

However, the Court found that the defendant's own actions saved the otherwise impermissible search. When officers arrived at the apartment, they asked Lee whether there was anything in the apartment that Lee should not be possessing.  Lee responded with "No go ahead and look"; which the Court found provided all the basis required for the search.

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