People v. Wall, 2016 IL App (5th) 140596 (October). Episode 250 (Duration 5:47)
Police lied to him about a break-in at his home, then tell him to sign the consent form or he’ll get arrested.
Defendant is called by police and told that his house may have been broken into. He needed to come home right away.
Except this was a total made up fabrication, sometimes called a lie.
Can We Search Please?
When defendant arrives he finds a drug team there and is told if he signs the consent to search his home that he would not be arrested.
By the way, this officer was huge. He was 6 feet 6 inches tall and 390 pounds.
Defendant initially asked if they had a warrant, meaning defendant initially refused to consent. Then the officer made a veiled threat to defendant by telling him that if he did not sign the consent form he would go to jail.
In addition, the officer made a promise to defendant that defendant would not go to jail if he signed the consent form.
Defendant signs the form.
Cannabis and cannabis plants are pulled from his home. He is charged and arrested 3 months later.
Defendant argued that his consent was involuntary since he was lured home on false pretences and police led him to believe his only choice was to consent or be hauled off to jail.
To be effective consent must be voluntary, meaning that it was given “absent any coercion, express or implied,” and was not “the result of official coercion, intimidation, or deception.”
A police officer’s giving false or misleading information can vitiate the voluntariness of the consent.
An officer making a groundless threat and presenting the occupant of the home with the choice of either consenting or suffering the consequences of the threatened course of conduct can also vitiate consent.
Additionally, the record is devoid of any evidence of exigent circumstances which precluded the State from obtaining a warrant.
The reviewing court said it is clear that the officer made a promise to defendant in order to obtain his consent. Here, the evidence shows the police tricked, intimidated, and threatened defendant into signing a voluntary consent form.
Thus, defendant’s consent to search was involuntary, and all items seized and all statements subsequently made by defendant must be suppressed.
Reversed and remanded.