Warrantless Home Search By Law Enforcement Can Happen
Generally, Law Enforcement (or Police) are not allowed to enter your home without a warrant; however, some circumstances can allow for them to perform a warrantless home search (meaning without a warrant or your consent). Those instances allowing for a warrantless home search are referred to as exigent circumstances.
Emergency Situations (i.e. Exigent Circumstances) allow for warrantless home searches.
When an exigent circumstance exists an exception to the warrant requirement will be present and law enforcement can enter an individuals home. The issue can later be argued in court; however, if shown to exist the warrantless home search will stand and any incriminating evidence obtained from that search will continue to be admissible (unless another reason is present for its exclusion). So what are the exigent circumstances allowing for a warrantless home search?
One exigent circumstance bringing about a warrantless home search is known as the hot-pursuit exception. This exception applies to fleeing felons or individual’s fleeing after the comission of a felony. The key piece of information to take away from this exception is a showing that the individual needs to be immediately arrested, and thus society needs to be protected from possible danger. The interest in justice outweighs the privacy concerns when police are involved in a hot pursuit of a fleeing felon. However, this exception does not nor would apply when the criminal charge involves a misdemeanor.
Other exigent circumstances bringing about a warrantless home search will involve the possible destruction of evidence or physical and immediate injury to an individual within the home. For example, a domestic violence call and reasonable belief of its occurence may allow for the warrantless home search or entry by law enforcement. This is another policy exception that involves the protection of individuals from danger and bodily harm.
These comments regarding a warrantless home search show never sway your judgement when denying consent to an officer to perform a search of you, your home or other property. These exceptions are being discussed to enlighten and inform the public of possible pitfalls and avenues found within the criminal justice system.
An individual always has the right, and should exercise the right, to deny consent to a search. If the officer has the ability to perform a warrantless home search or other warrantless search then they do. However, if they do not and they perform one anyways, an attorney could and should have an amazing argument.
That being said, know the law, maintain your rights and lawyer-up. Josh Jones is here 7-days a week to answer your questions and concerns by phone, text, email or instant message—specializing in Criminal Defense and Marihuana Defense (medical and non-medical).
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