Expectation of Privacy – Carter v. State

| May 18, 2011 | Criminal Defense |

This case centered around criminal charges resulting from the search of a motel room proper. It decided that even though the defendant did not consent to the search that he had no reasonable expectation of privacy as he failed to show that he was an overnight guest in the room. The defendants girlfriend had consented to the search and she was the only person in whose name the room was rented.

“The officers found female clothing and personal articles in the dresser, but no male clothing or personal items anywhere… (The defendant) contends that his expectation of privacy in (girlfriend’s) hotel was objectively reasonable because he legitimately was in the room. This was evidenced by his belief that he had the power to exclude others from the room as evidenced by his attempt to refuse entrance to the police, as well as his attempts to ensure his privacy by closing the curtains and blinds, the fact that room was not public, and the ‘expectation of privacy of a boyfriend and a girlfriend behind closed doors’ is consistent with historical notions of privacy and precedent .

According to the officer the gap in the curtains was wide enough that one could walk by the window and clearly see in ‘without having to actually look inside.’ Plain view doctrine is cited.