Can you explain consent to a search in Florida?
Answer: So in order for the police, if they knocked on your door, for example, and they wanted to search your house, and you let them, then they would be able to argue, “Well, they consented to the search, and therefore any evidence that we found we should be able to use in criminal prosecution against an individual.” The government would need to show that the consent was what we call KIV—knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, meaning that you knew the nature of the consent that you were giving, that you intelligently waived it, and you had the mental faculties to do so, and that it was voluntary, meaning the police didn’t come and point a Taser at you and say, “Hey we’re going to search this house, is that okay?” Because in that situation, you potentially would have a legal defense. And that the consent of your residence or your car, whatever the case may be, was not voluntary. So the police would need to establish that.
In many jurisdictions, they will actually have a form where you will sign and they will read a document saying to you that you agree that this consent is knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, and you’re not being coerced into allowing us to search your car, your house—whatever the case may be.
In addition, some jurisdictions will take it one step further depending on what type of case it is and they may bring you down to the station, and they may have it recorded either on video or audio to ultimately be used against you in criminal prosecution. Very fact specific. But they still need to establish that the consent was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.