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SCOTUS Reigns In Ability To Search Rental Cars

Posted by Unknown | Jul 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

There had been some question involving who had standing to contest the search of a rental car. For example, in State v. Mann, the Idaho Supreme Court held in 2017 that an “unauthorized” driver of a rental car did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to contest the search of a rental car. An “unauthorized” driver was necessarily not listed on the rental car agreement as being a driver of the vehicle. The Mann decision created a “bright line rule.” If you weren't listed as a driver on the rental car agreement, you couldn't complain about a 4th Amendment violation by law enforcement based on the search of the rental car.

If State v. Mann was decided today, the outcome would have been different. The law across the country changed with the United States Supreme Court's (SCOTUS) decision in Byrd v. United States. In Byrd, a unanimous (how often does that happen lately) Court held that the mere fact a driver, in lawful possession of a rental car, was not listed on the rental agreement, was not the deciding factor when it comes to standing to argue a violation of the 4th Amendment. In reaching its decision, the Court noted: “Few protections are as essential to individual liberty as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.”

When you've been charged with a crime, the stakes are high. You are lost and don't know where to turn. It is important you hire someone who constantly and consistently stays up-to-date on the law and recent decisions of all courts. Your very freedom depends on it.

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