Question: Are the police allowed a warrant-less entry of a hotel room of an unregistered guest?
It is well established that a defendant must have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the premises that is the subject of the search before he can challenge the search as unconstitutional. An expectation of privacy gives rise to 4th Amendment where the defendant had an actual or subjective expectation of privacy and the claimed expectation is one which society recognizes. Likewise, to challenge evidence as the result of an unreasonable search or seizure under Article I, Section 11, a defendant must establish ownership, control, possession, or interest in either the premises searched or the property seized. When the constitutionality of a search is challenged, defendant has the burden of demonstrating a legitimate expectation of privacy in the premises searched.
The United States Supreme Court has held, an overnight guest in a home may claim the protection of the Fourth Amendment, but one who is merely present with the consent of the householder may not. Further, a person’s hotel room is a “home” for Fourth Amendment purposes. However, when the undisputed evidence shows that the person was simply an invitee of the hotel does not have standing under the 4th Amendment to challenge the officers’ warrantless entry into the room.