Court: Authorities face limits on probationer spot searches
Posted May 16
RALEIGH, N.C. — An appeals court is throwing out a weapons conviction against a North Carolina man because authorities had no legal basis for searching the probationer's home.
A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously ruled that the warrantless search of Danny Wayne Powell Jr.'s Catawba County home didn't follow state law. Powell has spent more than a year in prison on the charge. He was scheduled to be released in three weeks.
The court ruled that though convicted criminals on probation must submit to searches that don't need a warrant, state law requires the spot inspections be directly related to supervising whether they're obeying probation terms.
Powell's home was raided during a 2015 crackdown against firearms and drugs and was targeted because he was serving probation.