Court Limits ‘Valid Consent’ For Searches

2006

When police have valid consent to search a house, neither a warrant nor probable cause is necessary. The consent must be given voluntarily. In the case Georgia v. Randolph, the U.S. Supreme Court determines whether police have valid consent needed to search a home when one occupant consents but another, who is also present, objects. The Court decides, 5-3, that police entry is unjustified. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writes a scathing dissent, arguing that consent to live with another person entails the risk that one’s confidence and privacy will be betrayed by that person.