In Collins v. Virginia (2018), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the automobile exception cannot justify a warrantless search of an automobile parked in a home’s curtilage because the automobile exception pertains solely to the search of the automobile, not to the intrusion upon the Fourth Amendment privacy interest in the home’s curtilage. After giving an overview of relevant Fourth Amendment jurisprudence concerning the curtilage doctrine and the automobile exception as well as the history of the exclusionary rule, this article examines the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in Collins and discusses the implications of this important decision. Collins preserves the heightened Fourth Amendment protection afforded to the home and its curtilage by refusing to further expand the automobile exception. Collins is also notable for Justice Thomas’s concurrence, which questions the Court’s authority to impose the exclusionary rule upon the states. Given the changing composition of the Court, the Court’s eventual reconsideration of the exclusionary rule’s applicability to the states is a possibility that bears watching.
Rowe, Brenda I., "Get Out of My Driveway! Collins v. Virginia Protects Curtilage from Being Trampled by the Automobile Exception" (2019). Criminology and Criminal Justice Faculty Publications. 5.