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California v. Carney

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 471 U.S. 386, 105 S. Ct. 2066, 85 L. Ed. 2d 406 (1985)

Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Charles Carney (the “defendant”), was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, after police surveyed the defendant’s parked motor home. The police did not obtain a warrant for the arrest and subsequent search.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. There is no search warrant requirement for a motor vehicle as there would be for a more permanent structure such as a home or building, due to the inherent lower expectation of privacy for a motor vehicle.

Facts. The arresting officer noticed the defendant escorting a youth into the defendant’s parked motor home and drawing the shades. The officer stopped the youth after he left the vehicle, and the youth admitted that he received marijuana in exchange for sexual contact. The youth, per the officer’s request, knocked on the motor home, wherein one officer entered the vehicle without a warrant and found marijuana and related paraphernalia.

Issue. Whether the police needed a search warrant to search the parked mobile home?

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