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United States v. Padilla


Officers unreasonably stopped and arrested Arciniega, after finding cocaine in a car he drove. They subsequently arrested several others connected to the crime, including the defendant. The government charged them with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The defendant moved to suppress the evidence discovered during the investigation, claiming that it was the fruit of an unlawful investigatory stop of a car.


Whether the defendant has the ability to object to the illegal search of a coconspirator’s reasonable expectation of privacy?


No. Expectations of privacy and property interests govern the analysis of Fourth Amendment search and seizure claims. Participants in a criminal conspiracy may have had such expectations or interests, but the conspiracy itself neither added to nor detracted from them.


A defendant can seek the suppression of evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment only if that defendant demonstrates that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the challenged search or seizure. The established principle is that suppression of the product of a Fourth Amendment violation can be successfully urged only by those whose rights were violated by the search itself. Co-conspirators and co-defendants are not accorded any special standing in establishing a reasonable expectation in each other’s privacy.


508 U.S. 77, 113 S. Ct. 1936 (1993)

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