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Name: U.S. v. Knights
Case #: 00-1260
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 12/10/2001
Subsequent History: Cross-cites: 122 S.Ct. 587; 151 L.Ed.2d 497

The defendant was a California probationer with a condition subjecting him to search by any probation officer or law enforcement officer with or without reasonable cause. The court expressly rejected the argument that the search was required to have a “probationary” rather than an “investigatory” purpose. The court also expressly declined to decide whether the probation condition constituted consent to search without individualized suspicion. Instead, the court decided the issue under general Fourth Amendment principles, which require a search to be reasonable. Reasonableness is determined by balancing the intrusion into an individual’s privacy against the promotion of legitimate governmental interests. Here the governmental interest in preventing further crime by probationers required only reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct, not a higher standard of probable cause. Under the facts of this case, the defendant conceded that reasonable suspicion existed.