Warrantless Entry and Unreasonable Detention in Henrico County, Commonwealth v. Wener 

A group of University of Richmond students, most of whom were over age 21, were having a party at the house leased by one of the students. After observing a few students in the backyard drinking from plastic cups near a keg, police entered the house without a warrant, and detained the group for four to five hours while they questioned everyone and gave them breath tests. A number of students were cited for underage possession of alcohol. On April 15, 2008, representing four students, we argued that the entry into the house and the extended detention violated the Fourth Amendment, and asked the court to suppress the evidence of drinking. The court denied the motion to suppress, and found the students guilty of underage possession. However, final judgment was deferred, and the charges will be dismissed after four months of good behavior by the students.

Attorney(s)

Rebecca Glenberg, ACLU of Virginia

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Mark Tyndall, Richmond

Date filed

April 15, 2008

Court

Henrico County Circuit Court

Status

Closed

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