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When Is Consent To Search Valid?

When is consent to search valid?  Generally, if someone gives the police consent to search a house, car, luggage, etc., the police can conduct the search and the court will uphold the search and the items found during the search. However, in order to consent to a search, the person must have either actual or apparent authority over the item or place to be searched.   A roommate has actual authority to consent to search an apartment.  Even if the person does not live in the apartment, if that person led the police to believe that they lived there, they have apparent authority.  This means that the police can believe, in good faith, that the person lives there and has the authority to consent to a search.  However, the roommate cannot consent to a search of someone else’s luggage.

The Person Must Have Authority To Give Consent


So, just when is consent to search valid?  Basically, consent to search follows a common sense approach. Someone can only grant the authority that they have.  If the person does not have the authority or permission to open their roommate’s purse, they cannot validly consent to the police opening the purse, either.

If the consent appears to be invalid, the remedy is to file a motion to suppress. A successful motion to suppress prevents the prosecutor from using any evidence that was obtained from the search.

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To learn more, read my other related posts, where I wrote about kids going to adult prison in Ohio, what if the Ohio judge does not go along with the agreed sentence, what you should know about Ohio’s shorter prison terms, ways to avoid going to jail, are you entitled to jail time credit in Ohio, changes to Ohio DUI laws, when theft becomes a felony in Ohio, consequences for stealing from Ohio stores, and sealing convictions in Ohio. I have successfully defended individuals for both misdemeanor and felony offenses, as set forth in the case highlights section. My hard work and results are reflected in the positive reviews from my clients: Daniel Gigiano reviews; Daniel Gigiano ratings; and Daniel Gigiano work.

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Attorney Gigiano’s office is located in Medina County, Ohio. He has litigated this specific issue successfully in a felony case in the Medina County Common Pleas Court.  If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an experienced Rittman criminal defense attorney in Medina County, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.  Attorney Gigiano’s office is located in Wadsworth, Ohio.