Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Law Firm represents many individuals who’s arrest stems from being searched by the police. A police officer cannot just walk up to you and start to pat you down. The officer has to have a VALID reason to do so.
As a Criminal Lawyer in Northeast Florida, I have read thousands of police reports that say the suspect gave the officer “consent to search” them, even though the client tells me they did no such thing. In order for there to be a valid consent, the consent must be freely and voluntarily given, not just satisfied by showing a mere submission to a claim of lawful authority.
Once you are arrested based on something that is found by the search, such as drugs, a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can analyze the seizure to determine whether or not your rights were violated. Whether consent is voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from analyzing the totality of the circumstances. Some factors are:
1. the age of the defendant
2. whether the defendant has been arrested in Jacksonville or anywhere before
3. whether there is evidence the defendant was drunk or otherwise intoxicated
4. whether the defendant has a mental deficiency that impaired the defendant’s ability to make an intelligent decision