Blogs from March, 2015


Per the Fourth Amendment, police need written permission from a court to have the authority to search a person and their property and also seize any evidence they find. Illegal searches are not admissible in court and anything found in a warrantless-search can be thrown out. Unless police have probable cause or if you consent to a search, a warrant is the only means of searching your home.

A warrant is a legal order signed by a judge which authorizes police to search a specified place and seize anything there at a certain time. Police will need to provide evidence for why a warrant is necessary and if granted one, can only abide by its specifications.

When do Police not need a Warrant?

Certain times a warrant may not be necessary for police to search your home. Probable cause is the most common means of searching without a warrant, such as if a suspect runs away, a gunshot is heard from another room, or an individual makes a sudden move.

People who voluntarily consent to a search can give law enforcement all they need to conduct a search. Police do not even need to inform you that you have the right to refuse a search. While tenants cannot consent to a search of another tenant’s area, they may allow for a search of a common area of a home such as a living room or kitchen.

Police may also search an area if evidence is clearly visible, or in plain view. Police do not need a warrant to search your home if they witness you performing something illegal in front of your home.

If police are in the middle of arresting you, they do not need a warrant to conduct a search incident to arrest. This is a protective measure for police to search for weapons. This also includes searching for evidence which can be destroyed such as drugs as well as a protective sweep of any accomplices who may be hiding in a certain location.

Police can search without a warrant if they believe exigent circumstances warrant it; that is, if the time spent obtaining a warrant would jeopardize public safety.

Know the Law and Protect Yourself

You can legally refuse to allow police to search if they arrive at your door and ask. On the other hand, you should allow them to avoid injury or being charged with interfering with a police investigation. In all cases, you should ask police for identification and an explanation for wanting to conduct a search.

If you were charged with a crime or police searched without a warrant, call The Law Office of Lesa Pamplin right away to protect your rights.