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Hernandez v. State (5th District Court of Appeals, October 5th, 2012).

This case shows the limitations and protections when a third party consents to a search of a residence when police have no warrant.

The Court held that the police officers who performed warrantless search of defendant's residence with the consent of his girlfriend, whose apparent authority to consent to the search did not extend to a locked room that she told officers she lacked permission to enter, could not enter the locked room as part of a protective sweep; officers knew they lacked consent to enter the locked room before they entered residence, officers waited over an hour before entering residence without making any effort to obtain a search warrant, and need for a warrantless protective sweep of the locked room could readily have been avoided by procurement of a warrant.

If the police enter a residence without a warrant and claim they entered to do a "protective sweep," this limited type of search must be narrowly confined to a cursory visual inspection of those places in which a person might be hiding.