SW Legal Educational Publishing

Warrantless Search Allowed When Firm Contracts for Such Condition
Description A dentist who was convicted of Medicaid fraud would not have his conviction overturned due to a search conducted of his office records without probable cause. To participate in the state program, he had agreed that his records would be open for state inspection without cause.
Topic Criminal Law
Key Words Search and Seizure; Medicaid Fraud
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Blackwell, a dentist, was convicted of Medicaid fraud and sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $87,000 in fines and restitution. He appealed that the conviction should be overturned because the state's search and seizure of documentary evidence conducted at his place of business violated his Fourth Amendment rights. He argued that the judge had no probable cause to issue the warrant to search.
Decision Affirmed. When Blackwell agreed to participate in the Medicaid program, he authorized the director of the program to examine all of his records to look for any possible violations. Since his contract stated that his records would be open to the state, it could search them without probable cause. "A warrantless search is valid if conducted pursuant to the knowing and voluntary consent of the person subject to a search."
Citation Blackwell v. State, - S.W.3d - (1999 WL 796891, Sup. Ct., Ark.)

Back to Criminal Law Listings

©1997-2000  South-Western, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc. Cengage Learning is a trademark used herein under license.