Probation Condition Requiring Probationer's Consent to Searches by Any Law Enforcement Officer at Any Time or Place Is Unconstitutional
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Examines the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals case, Tamez v. State. In Tamez, the appellant was on probation. Two of the conditions of probation were: 1) that he commit no offense against the State, any other state or of the United States and 2) that he submit his person, place of residence and vehicle to search and seizure at any time day or night, with or without search warrant, whenever requested by the probation officer or any law enforcement officer. Tamez was later arrested and searched and his car had a pistol under the driver’s seat. His probation was revocated and Tamez appealed, saying the search was made without probable cause and violated the fourth and fourteenth amendments. On appeal the decision was reversed and held that the State’s allegations in its revocation motion were vague, indefinite, and did not give Tamez fair notice to prepare a defense. The court also found the search could not be justified as a border search, and that the blanket consent condition was an unreasonable infringement on the probationer’s federal and state constitutional guarantees.