Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Watered-down consent search bill goes to Gov.

A watered-down version of HB10-1201, which requires law enforcement officers to advise persons prior to a consensual search that they are being asked to voluntarily consent to the search and that they have the right to refuse consent, has been sent to Governor Ritter. Despite the advisement requirement, the bill provides virtually no consequences should an officer fail to give such advisement--a reviewing court can merely consider the failure to give the advisement as it applies to the totality of the circumstances in determining whether consent to search was voluntary. The original version of this bill required written proof of the advisement in order for consent to search to be valid under the law. Should the Governor approve the bill, the advisement requirement would apply to consensual searches only; no such advisement would be required when other legal grounds for a search are present.

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