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NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Quarterly Dated: (November 1993-January 1994) Pages: 5-8
C Trevino
Date Published
4 pages
The legal basis under which searches are imposed, the scope of the conditions and the residual expectation of privacy retained by the subject are crucial to police officers and reviewing District Attorneys.
The two broad categories of search conditions are those that arise automatically as a condition of a parole release and those mandated as a condition of probation, the latter known as Fourth Amendment waivers. Once adult probationers have effectively waived their Fourth Amendment rights, they can complain of an official invasion of privacy only if the search is conducted for purposes of harassment or for arbitrary or capricious reasons or if the officials violate the knock-notice requirements of the California penal code. The knock-notice requirements protect innocent persons who may be on the premises, prevent confrontations between the occupant and individuals entering his home without notice, and protect police who might be injured by a startled and fearful householder. Juvenile probationers subject to a Fourth Amendment waiver have effectively waived all traditional expectations of privacy and have no more residual rights than have adult probationers. Some aspects of court treatment of parolees are different from the treatment of probationers. While the Supreme Court has found that parolees represent a heightened danger to society, thereby justifying mandatory search conditions, it has also determined they are not entirely without legitimate privacy interests. Therefore, warrantless searches of parolees must be directly related to proper parole supervision purposes. An adult parolee subject to a search condition may not be searched by an officer who has no knowledge of the search condition, unless the officer's conduct is reasonable under ordinary Fourth Amendment standards. It is not reasonable that parolees be deemed to have consented to all searches, but parole agents and other law enforcement officers may nonetheless search if they have reasonable grounds to believe the parolee is engaging in criminal activity. The rules are narrower where the subject of the search conditions is a Youth Authority parolee. Footnotes


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