Sunday, November 26, 2006

Exigent Circumstances Trumps Revocation of Consent

In State v. Beckwith, No. 05-1812 (November 16, 2006), a report of reckless driving in a trailer park brought Iowa City police officers to Beckwith's door. Complainants had identified the truck as belonging to Beckwith. Beckwith consented to the entry of officers into his home.

After some discussion with the occupants Beckwith was Mirandized and admitted he'd been driving the truck. It was determined that the engine was still hot on the truck, indicating it was used recently. After field sobriety tests were administered, Beckwith consented to a breath test which showed he had a BAC of 0.190.

Beckwith moved to suppress the entry of police into his home, alleging he'd revoked his consent. The district court denied the motion to suppress, saying that the evidence that he'd revoked his consent was disputed. The district court also concluded that even if Beckwith had revoked his consent, exigent circumstances existed that trumped the revocation of consent, if such existed at all.

The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that there was no evidence on the record that showed that Beckwith had clearly and unequivocally revoked his consent, or that he;d revoked consent prior to the damaging admissions he'd made to police.


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