27. If My Employer Consents to a Police Search of My Workspace, Are the Results of the Search Admissible in Evidence?

  Probably. An employer can validly consent to a search of company premises. An employer's consent extends to employees' work areas, such as desks and machinery. However, police officers might need a warrant to search a clearly private area, such as an employee's clothes locker.

  28. Can My Child Let the Police Search Our Home While I Am at Work?

  This would primarily depend on the child's age. The younger the child, the less authority he or she would have to consent to a search. The California courts, for example, require a child to be at least 12 to consent, and even then the child must appear to be ''in charge" of the house at that time.

  Section IV: Warrantless Searches and the Plain View Doctrine

  This section is about warrantless searches and seizures that are considered valid because the police officer initially spotted contraband or evidence that was in the officer's plain view.

  29. I Agreed to Talk to a Police Officer in My House. The Officer Saw Some Drugs on a Kitchen Counter, Seized Them and Arrested Me. Is This Legal?

  Yes. Police officers do not need a warrant to seize contraband or evidence that is "in plain view" if the officer is where he or she has a right to be. An officer's seizing of an object in plain view does not violate the Fourth Amendment because the officer technically (and legally) has not conducted a search.

  Case Example 1: During daylight hours, Officer Mendoza stops a car for having an expired license plate. When Officer Mendoza approaches the driver, the officer sees a packet of what appears to be illegal drugs on the front seat of the car. The officer seizes the packet and arrests the driver.

  Question: Was the seizure of the drugs legal?

  Answer: Yes. The drugs were in plain view. Though the officer had no probable cause to search the car at the moment the officer pulled the car over, seeing the illegal drugs on the front seat gave the officer a valid basis for seizing them.