If my girlfriend and I share a home and she recently took a plea deal for DUI, what are my rights regarding a search of our residence?

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If my girlfriend and I share a home and she recently took a plea deal for DUI, what are my rights regarding a search of our residence?

The plea called for her to forfeit her 4th ammendment rights, so they can search whenever without notice. She isn’t allowed to have alcohol, etc. What are my 4th amendment rights during this? I don’t want the police searching my things or her to go to jail because there may be a 6-pack in the refrigerator.

Asked on January 9, 2015 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you share the home, she can give permission, as she evidently has as part of the plea deal, for the authorities to search the home; it does not matter if you do not consent to the search, because she has the full right to allow people into the home. Technically, the police should not search anything which is obviously *only* yours--like, say, a closet which obviously has only male clothing in it--but given how intermingled most couples' belongings are, in practice, it would be almost impossible to show that the police did anything wrong in looking into, say, your closet or nighttand; it's not unreasonable to think that she might have some things in your closet or dress, for example. And any "common" space, like a refrigerator, could certainly be searched.


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