Warrantless Search of Parolee’s Car by Detective Was Valid–Detective Was Effectively Functioning As a Parole Officer, Was Aware of an Arrest Warrant Based Upon Defendant’s Alleged Parole Violations, and Was Aware the Defendant, as a Parolee, Had Consented In Writing to the Search of His Person and Property
The Second Department determined the warrantless search of a parolee’s car by a detective who was exercising parole-warrant responsibilities was valid. The detective was aware of defendant’s parole violations and the related warrant for defendant’s arrest. The detective was also aware that defendant, as a parolee, had consented in writing the search of his person and property:
While a person on parole is not denied the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the status of a parolee is always relevant and may be critical in evaluating the reasonableness of a particular search or seizure. A search which would be unlawful if directed against an ordinary citizen may be proper if conducted against a parolee … . The special circumstances and close supervision that come with being a parolee must be considered when determining if a search is reasonable … .
Under the circumstances of this case, the detective’s search of the car was “rationally and reasonably related to the performance of the parole officer’s duty” by dint of the detective’s parole responsibilities as a member of the Joint Apprehension Warrant Squad … . Here, no relevant distinction exists between the detective and the defendant’s parole officer … . At the time of the search, the detective was aware that the defendant had violated the terms of his parole, that as a result a warrant had been issued for the defendant’s arrest …, and that the defendant had consented in writing to a search of his person and property. Additionally, the detective was aware that the car was registered to the defendant, the defendant had acknowledged that the car was his, and a known source had said that she had been told that the defendant had just been in the car with a gun … . People v McMillan, 2015 NY Slip Op 05702, 2nd Dept 7-1-15