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Consent to Search - Civil Rights

Jun 5, 2013 — by Jeff Mundy
Tags: Civil Rights Torts Commerical Litigation

For consent to be valid, it must "'not be coerced, by explicit or implicit means, by implied threat or covert force.'" Consent must be given freely, unequivocally, and without duress or coercion.  "The ultimate question is whether the suspect's will was overborne" by the officer's actions.  The trial court must examine the voluntariness of a consent based on the "totality of the circumstances from the point of view of an objectively reasonable person, including words, actions, or circumstantial evidence." If the voluntariness of the consent is challenged at trial, the State must prove the voluntariness of a consent to search by clear and convincing evidence. "If the record supports a finding by clear and convincing evidence that consent to search was free and voluntary, we will not disturb that finding." 


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