Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Castillo: Pretrial intervention participant's expectation of privacy akin to probationer's

In Castillo v. U.S. , No. 13-11757 (March 15, 2016), the Court rejected a claim that defense counsel rendered constitutionally ineffective assistance when he failed to move to suppress guns found by police during a warrantless search of Castillo’s home. At the time of the search, Castillo was on supervision subject to Florida’s pretrial intervention program. The Court analogized this status to the situation of persons on parole or on probation, who have diminished expectations of privacy. The police only needed “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a warrantless search of Castillo’s home. The police had reasonable suspicion based on the tip they received, a fax from Castillo’s former mother-in-law showing a photo of a man who appeared to be Castillo holding a gun and extending his middle finger and making a threatening statement. [Robreno, J., concurring, stated that a pretrial intervention participant’s privacy interest is not directly analogous to a probationer’s but sits somewhere between the general public and a probationer; he concurred in the result in this case because the information available to police gave them particularized suspicion sufficient to justify the search of Castillo’s house].