This past Monday the US Supreme Court’s more liberal members, acting as the court’s majority, ruled that law enforcement is not carte blanche allowed to inspect hotel and motel guest registries; they either need an owner’s consent or a judge’s permission via a warrant. The ruling most likely will have a much broader impact than just hotel and motel registries, and serves as notice that warrantless searches done to assist in the curtailing of prostitution and illicit drug dealing will not be tolerated.
A group of hotel and motel owners challenged a Los Angeles ordinance because they objected to the fact that it allowed the police to look at the registries at any time of day or night without the owner’s consent and without a warrant. Justice Scalia, who is well known to be a ‘strict constructionist’ with regard to his legal views, noted that the majority’s basis for its ruling and alternatives to searching registries without a warrant or owner authorization was “equal parts ‘1984’ and ‘Alice and Wonderland’”, and that the majority had struck a needless blow to a barely intrusive law enforcement practice. In other words, Justice Scalia saw no problem with carte blanche searches of hotel and motel registries.
If you or a loved has been arrested or charged with a crime in Washington State it would be smart to immediately contact a Seattle criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. The Seattle criminal defense attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for prostitution, possession and/or distribution of drugs, assault, property destruction or some other crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.