LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The Supreme Court sided Tuesday with Los Angeles Police Department officers in a ruling that states police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as one occupant consents, even if another resident has previously objected.
The ruling — based on a controversial case involving a 2009 Los Angeles Police Department search — gives the police more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even in situations where there is no emergency, the Associated Press reported.
CBS News Senior Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen said Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s 6-3 decision holding that an occupant may not object to a search when he is not at home.
“The bottom line is that the court has expanded the power of the police to conduct warrantless searches of residences even when someone inside the residence refuses to consent to the search,” said Cohen.
Police found a shotgun, ammunition and a knife when they searched the Los Angeles apartment that Walter Fernandez shared with his girlfriend, Roxanne Rojas.
Fernandez told police they could not enter. But shortly after his arrest, officers returned to the apartment and persuaded Rojas to let them in.
Fernandez is serving a 14-year prison term on robbery and guns charges.
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