When Can the Police Search Your Property?

If the police show up at your door wanting to search your property, it will undoubtedly be a stressful event. In most cases, the police attempt to make it sound like you do not have a say in whether they come in or not, but that often is not true. In fact, while the police do have the right to enter without your permission in some cases, they will often walk right in and not ask if it is okay with you at all. Understanding when the police are legally permitted to search your property is important for knowing how to respond to this type of event.

If They Present a Warrant

If the police hand you a warrant when they arrive, this means that they have already seen a judge who reviewed the evidence they have and granted permission to enter and search your property. Warrants are typically issued only after the police provide a judge or magistrate with a written affidavit or some other strong evidence concerning a case against you. When this type of thing happens, the best thing you can do is keep a copy of the warrant, stay out of the way of the police, and contact an attorney as quickly as possible.

When They Have Probable Cause

If the police have probable cause that you have committed a crime, they can enter your property without permission. For example, if the police see you robbing a bank and chase you back to your home, they can come right in without having to get a warrant. They will have to justify this entry during your hearing, however, so if it is found that they did not have probable cause, that will help you craft a strong defense.

When You Give Consent

When the police knock at your door they will often ask you for permission to come in and look around. If you grant them this permission, any evidence that they discover while there will be admissible in a case against you or any other party. No matter what the police tell you, you absolutely do not have to give them permission to enter. Even if they try to convince you that it is in your best interests to comply, you have the right to refuse. If ever faced with this situation, inform the police that you will call your attorney for advice and do not let them enter.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Whether the police are there because they suspect you of a crime, a loved one of a crime, or for any other reason, you do not want to help give them any information that they do not already have. If the police enter your home without permission (even with a warrant or probable cause) you need to talk with an attorney immediately. Please contact us so you can have the legal defense you deserve.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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