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Minor can consent to search of parent’s house

Minor can consent to search of parent’s house

Did you know that depending on where you live, your child might be able to consent to a warrantless search of your home? >[? informs us of a recent Alabama decision of this type. In Allen v. State, 2009 Ala. Crim. App. LEXIS 62 (May 1, 2009), the court held, in part:

Accordingly, the State of Alabama must affirmatively answer the following questions in order to support a contention that a person under the age of 18 provided valid third-party consent to a request to a conduct a warrantless search: First, did the minor live in the home or share the premises with the absent parent? Second, did the minor have the right of access to the premises searched and the right to invite others to the premises? Third, did the totality of the circumstances indicate that the police were reasonable in their determination that the minor had sufficient control over the premises? Finally, did the facts attendant to the encounter — including the minor’s age, maturity, and intelligence — indicate that the minor could exercise sufficient discretion to freely, knowingly, and voluntarily consent to the search and not merely acquiesce to a request of a police officer? Failure to satisfy all four prongs of this test will preclude a finding that the minor gave valid third-party consent.

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