Report Recommendation 2.10

Pillar 2: Policy and Oversight

2.10 Report Recommendation: Ask for consent before a search and explain that a person has the right to refuse consent when there is no warrant or probable cause. Obtain written acknowledgment of consent to search.

BRPD Alignment

BRPD is committed to conducting searches that are legal and thorough. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. There is a legal presumption of unreasonableness where there is a warrantless search. 


General Order 319 states that searches are to be conducted in strict observance of the constitutional rights of the owner and occupants of any place to be searched. Whenever feasible, a warrant will be obtained for searches of places or vehicles where the owner or occupants have a reasonable expectation of a right to privacy. Any BRPD officer who conducts a warrantless search will be required to articulate in writing and orally (courtroom testimony) his/her reason(s) for conducting the search.


  1. Consent to Search
  • Searches based on consent are to be conducted only when:
  1. The person whose consent is sought has apparent authority over the area sought to be searched.
  2. Consent is voluntarily given.
  • The scope of a consent search depends on the terms of the consent itself and the person giving the consent
  1. A person can only consent to a search over a place over which he/she has control.
  2. Consent of a vehicle included closed containers unless the consenter specifically excludes those items from the scope of the search.
  3. A search may not exceed the terms of the consent.
  4. If consent is withdrawn during the course of the search, the search must end.
  • Consent should be made in writing unless the situation makes this inconvenient. BRPD has made written consent available to officers (in English and Spanish). 


General Order 319 Warrantless Searches