AL: SW for premises permitted search of visitor found asleep with at least some known connection to the premises

Police executed a search warrant for a house for methamphetamine. Defendant didn’t live there, but she was named in the affidavit as a frequent visitor, and she was asleep on the couch when the police came in. After getting her name, her purse was searched, and meth was found. The search of her purse was reasonable considering her connection to the premises, albeit as a visitor. In re Powers, 2022 Ala. LEXIS 12 (Jan. 21, 2022):

Powers, who was found sleeping on a couch at 8:50 a.m. with her purse set on a table, was more than a mere visitor who happened to be on the premises when the search warrant was executed. In addition, as a person known for possessing methamphetamine and given her multiple visits to a house known for its involvement in the selling of methamphetamine, Powers should have reasonably believed that her property could be subject to search and seizure. Furthermore, the search warrant at issue was specifically aimed at locating methamphetamine, which by its nature will fit in small containers such as purses. Thus, police reasonably believed that Powers’s purse could contain the items listed in the premises warrant, and they acted reasonably in searching Powers’s purse without a warrant that specifically identified her or her property. Considering all the circumstances, arguments, and above-discussed authorities, we agree with the State that police reasonably concluded that Powers’s purse was a container that came within the scope of the premises warrant and that Powers’s right to privacy was not violated.

This entry was posted in Scope of search, Warrant execution. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.