Drug and Criminal Defense in San Diego
Free Case Evaluations and 24/7 Availability - Call Today! 619.202.5583

What Is a "Fourth Waiver?"

When someone is on parole, probation, or as a condition of a release on bail, he or she may be subject to a "Fourth Waiver." What this means is that the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution does not apply to them under certain circumstances. Essentially, the person has given prior consent to law enforcement to allow his or her person, home, vehicle, and other possessions to be subject to a search or seizure, at any time, without requiring law enforcement to obtain a warrant or substantiate the search with probable cause.

When someone becomes a Fourth Waiver, the protections included in the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures are not applicable. This means, he or she cannot claim a violation under the Fourth Amendment if a search or seizure is conducted without a warrant or without probable cause.

This has a huge impact on someone's privacy and possessory interest – as well as other family members, friends, and colleagues that share a common space or area with the party who is a Fourth Waiver.

When a Fourth Waiver is imposed as a condition of probation, it will be upheld unless the following has occurred:

  1. The waiver has no relationship to the crime for the which the offender was convicted; and
  2. the waiver relates to conduct that is not itself criminal; and
  3. the waiver is not reasonably related to preventing future criminality.

All three conditions must be satisfied before a probation condition is struck down as unconstitutional. A court can limit the search and seizure conditions that it decides is appropriate for a case. These limitations also bind officers that make a search based on a Fourth Waiver. For example, a probation condition specifically limited to narcotics cannot be used by law enforcement to justify a search for stolen property.

It is important to remember that even if someone is a Fourth Waiver, law enforcement cannot conduct searches for the purpose of harassing the individual, or for some arbitrary or capricious reason.

There are additional issues that can be addressed when someone is a Fourth Waiver. If you need representation with a case regarding a Fourth Waiver, please contact my office today. I will provide a free, confidential consultation.