Your charged with a crime like possession of drugs or aggravated assault. You are put on probation and you think your problems are gone. Wrong. A new trend in Tennessee as it relates to probation cases is to include a condition of probation that waives your Fourth Amendment right of an illegal search and seizure. Paragraph 7 of the probation order of the Board of Probation and Parole provides as following:

I agree to a search, without a warrant, of my person, vehicle, property or place of residence by any probation/parole officer or law enforcement officer at any time.

When I first read this, I was shocked and was sure it was unconstitutional. However, the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Knights upheld a probation order search. Tennessee follows the Knights holding. The key difference in the Knights case is that the officers knew of the order. Does the probation order cure an illegal search if the officers were not aware of the order?

For now, citizens on probation in Tennessee have no Fourth Amendment protection.