You may not be able to say no to a search if you are on felony probation.
Generally, Americans have the right to say no to searches of their homes under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Yet if you have been convicted of a crime, you may have agreed to give up some of those rights — as a condition of your probation or parole. This may include the right to say no to a search of your home.
According to a criminal defense attorney in Santa Ana, CA, there are two types of parole in California: felony or formal probation, and misdemeanor or informal/summary probation. With felony probation, you will have to check in regularly with your probation officer. Informal probation does not require you to have a probation officer, but you may be required to report back to the court occasionally.
Probation is typically offered instead of jail time. When you agree to probation, you sign a document that lists the terms and conditions of probation. With felony probation, a common condition is giving up your right to object to a search of your home or car during probation. This means that if a probation officer shows up at your home, he or she has the legal right to search it.
Importantly, this does not mean that there are no limits on the probation officer. If you have a roommate or live with your family, the probation officer can only search the areas of the home that you use. This means that your roommate’s room cannot be searched without a warrant. However, the common areas, like the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, could be searched.
If you are on informal probation, you will not have to give up your right to object to searches. This means that if a law enforcement officer shows up at your home while you are on probation, you have every right to say no to a search. In fact, a criminal defense attorney in Santa Ana, CA would recommend that you do not consent to a search. If you let the police search your home, or even to enter your house, then what they find will likely be admissible in court. Instead, the officers should be required to get a warrant. If they cannot obtain one, then they won’t be able to search your home.
The question of whether your home or car can be searched while you are on probation is another reason why it is so important for you to understand the terms and condition of your probation. First, you need to make sure that you are complying with your probation — and refusing to allow a search could be a violation. Second, you don’t want to give up your rights unnecessarily, which you may do if you think that you can’t object to a search.
If you have been charged with a crime, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Santa Ana, CA to defend you. The Chambers Law Firm represents clients throughout southern California who have been charged with a range of crimes. Contact us today at 855-397-0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation.