Pubdate: Wed, 21 Sep 2005
Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)
Copyright: 2005 The Daily Iowan
Author: Mary Lynn Wolfe


Your editorial ("Watch Out for Walk-and-Talks," Sept. 19) was excellent. 
Criminal defense attorneys are often faced with clients who have invited 
the police into their homes and/or have given consent to a search of their 
home or vehicle - thus turning what might otherwise have been (at least 
arguably) an unconstitutional and invalid search into a (probably) 
constitutional search - and a conviction. So please consider just saying 
"NO" if a law-enforcement officer asks permission to enter your residence 
or to search your home or car - say it politely, because no one likes a 
smart alec, but make it crystal clear that you are not consenting to any 
type of entry or search.

Even if you are 100 percent positive that you don't have any illegal stuff 
stashed under your bed or in your glove compartment, there's nothing wrong 
with taking the position that you don't want law-enforcement officers 
entering or rummaging around your constitutionally protected (more or less) 
personal space. Keep in mind that unless you're the only person who has 
ever been inside your residence or occupied your vehicle, you CANNOT be 
certain that a search won't uncover contraband - because, without your 
knowledge, someone (an overnight guest, your roommate's ex-boyfriend, the 
girl you gave a ride home to after the game) might have accidentally left 
her or his big bag of marijuana behind your couch or under the back seat of 
your SUV. So better safe than sorry.

Mary Lynn Wolfe

Iowa City resident
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