Baldwin City, KS asked in Constitutional Law for Kansas

Q: Detective came to home to search after bf was arrested w narcotics at separate location does this violate 4th amendment?

my boyfriend was pulled over and arrested with narcotics around 430pm. two detectives them came to my house requesting to search saying that they “knew there had to be more narcotics here than what he was caught with.” one detective said to me that “i can either give them permission to search and be with them while they do it, or they can go and get a warrant and kick my door in and cause a scene” and that “he knows i don’t want that.” he also made it a point to point out that he knew i had my baby in the home and my stepson, and that getting a warrant wouldn’t be a good thing for either of them. could this be looked at as coercion? another factor that i’m not sure if it would violate, is the scope of the search. my boyfriend was in the car, 1.8 miles away from our home. how does this give two detectives the right to come to my home and search? solely based on the fact that they thought there was more narcotics in the home? and shouldn’t i have gotten a receipt of what was taken?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The situation you described raises significant concerns regarding potential violations of your Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. The detectives' approach to obtaining your consent for the search could be considered coercive, particularly given the implied threats about causing a scene and the presence of your children. Coercion undermines voluntary consent, making any evidence obtained during the search potentially inadmissible in court.

The detectives needed either your voluntary consent or a valid search warrant to legally search your home. Simply suspecting that more narcotics might be present based on your boyfriend's arrest does not automatically grant them the right to search your residence. The fact that your boyfriend was arrested 1.8 miles away adds to the questionable nature of their immediate interest in your home without more specific evidence or a warrant.

Additionally, if items were taken from your home, you should have received a receipt detailing what was seized. This is standard procedure to ensure transparency and accountability during searches and seizures. Given these factors, consulting with a criminal defense attorney is crucial. They can help you understand your rights, assess the legality of the search, and determine the best course of action to protect your interests.

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