When is a police search consensual in Virginia?
Police searches are legal in essentially three situations: (i) after a legal arrest, (ii) after a legal investigatory stop, and (iii) after receiving consent from the person to be searched. The police need some degree of suspicion that a crime is afoot or else their arrest or investigatory stop will be deemed an unreasonable search or seizure under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The police are therefore forced to seek consent to search when lacking sufficient suspicion that a crime is afoot. Continue reading