Third-Party Consent Law and Legal Definition

Third party consent refers to a person's agreement to official action like search of premises that affects another person's rights or interests. Third-party consent must be based on the consenting person's common authority over the place to be searched or the items to be inspected. There are a line of Supreme Court decisions to the effect that in addition to the criminal defendant, a third party who shares common authority over the property with the defendant may also give effective consent to a search of the defendant's property.