When Is a Residence Abandoned under the Fourth Amendment?

An officer normally needs a search warrant to search a residence, unless an exception to the warrant requirement applies. That’s because residences are protected by a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. But what about residences that lie vacant and in disrepair? At what point do they become abandoned such that the reasonable expectation of privacy no longer applies?

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State v. Borders: Clever Police Work or Disturbing Trickery?

Detectives investigating the rape and murder of an elderly woman in Shelby didn’t give up when suspect Donald Borders first refused to provide a sample of his DNA.  They asked again.  And again.  And again.  When Borders refused to relent after four visits to his home, investigators tried a different tack. They searched the county’s … Read more

Apple’s Upcoming iPhone and Possession of Stolen Goods

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m interested in electronic gadgets. One of my favorites is my Apple iPhone, so I’ve watched with great interest the saga unfolding over at Gizmodo, a leading gadget blog. (This will eventually connect to North Carolina criminal law, I promise.) The basic facts appear to be as follows: … Read more