In most cases, the police need to get a warrant in order to search someone’s home. This means that they suspect that such a search will turn up evidence. They demonstrate reasonable suspicion to a judge, who then gives them a warrant that allows them to enter the property. This warrant will often indicate what type of evidence the police are supposed to be searching for and exactly where they’re going to be looking for it.
However, there are some situations in which police can carry out a search without a warrant. Below are two of them to keep in mind.
They believe there is an emergency
First of all, emergencies will sometimes allow for warrantless searches. If the police are in hot pursuit of a suspect who is trying to escape them and that person enters a building, the police can give chase. If they think that there is a danger to the public, that a crime is in process or that critical evidence is actively being destroyed, they may also be able to enter. They do have to demonstrate that they had reasonable suspicion after the fact, showing that there simply wasn’t time to get a warrant and they needed to act quickly.
They get your consent
The second way in which the police can enter without a warrant is when you simply give them your consent. Often, if a police officer wants to search a home and doesn’t have a warrant, he or she will start by asking the homeowner if they can come inside to talk or take a look around. If you give the police your consent, you have waived your right to an expectation of privacy and given them the ability to enter your home.
Do you think the police may have made mistakes during a search and violated your rights? Be sure you know what legal defense options you have.