Criminal Procedure

Administrative Search

Generally, routine administrative searches require either a warrant, consent, or another exception to the warrant requirement. Absent such requirements, administrative searches must give an opportunity for precompliance review before a neutral decisionmaker unless it is a closely regulated business.

In applying for a warrant, for an administrative search, probable cause exists if reasonable legislative or administrative standards for conducting such inspection are satisfied for the dwelling. Such standards are reasonable if they are based on the passage of time, the nature of the building, or the condition of the area.

Warrantless searches are allowed for closely regulated businesses however as long as three requirements are satisfied:

  1. There must be a substantial government interest that informs the regulatory scheme pursuant to which the inspection is made.
  2. The warrantless inspections must be necessary to further [the] regulatory scheme.
  3. The statute's inspection, in terms of the certainty and regularity of its application, must provide a constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant.
    • It must:
      1. Advise the property owner that the search is being made pursuant to the inspecting officers and has a properly defined scope
      2. Limit officer discretion
Closely Regulated Business

The Supreme Court has recognized four industries as being closely regulated:

  • Liquor sales
  • Firearms dealing
  • Mining
  • Running an automobile junkyard