A consent search is a search conducted with the permission of the person having authority over the premises or property searched. Searches conducted with consent are effective without a warrant and in the absence of probable cause. If the state can prove that consent to the search was voluntarily given, there is no reason to prove either that the searchers possessed a warrant or that probable cause existed for the search.
The criminal courts in Oklahoma have ruled that consent searches are both as an exception to the warrant requirement and as a waiver of the right to demand a warrant to conduct the search. Whether the consent was given by the defendant challenging the search, or by a third person, it must be “voluntary” to be effective. “Voluntariness” does not require that the consent be “knowing” in the sense that a person was aware of the right to refuse to consent to the search. Rather, the controlling question is whether, considering the “totality of the circumstances,” the consent was voluntary. Factors to be considered are: (1) the existence of detention; (2) an awareness of the right to refuse; (3) a perception that the search is inevitable irrespective of the giving of consent; (4) physical or mental impairment; (5) coercion; (6) a “rational” motive to consent; and (7) the time of giving consent.
If you have been charged with a crime after a consent search, read more about Oklahoma criminal defense law here, click here to contact us to discuss the legalities of the search, or click here to learn more about our Oklahoma criminal defense lawyers.