Searches without suspicion are not unconstitutional, COA affirms

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The Indiana Lawyer.com on 07/10/2015 by Marilyn Odendahl

A one-month-old decision by the Indiana Supreme Court upended a probationer’s argument that the search of his nightstand was unconstitutional.

Braeden Terrell was arrested after probation officers found he had alcohol, illegal drugs and a firearm when they searched his Martinsville residence. He was subsequently charged with marijuana possession, a Class B misdemeanor, and paraphernalia possession, a Class A misdemeanor.

At trial, the Morgan Circuit Court did not allow the marijuana and paraphernalia that officers seized from the nightstand to be admitted as evidence. The court agreed with Terrell that the search violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution because it was made without any suspicion and was simply investigatory.