Most people who watch TV can recall police usually need a warrant to search a defendant’s home. TV dramas always show an officer waving a signed piece of paper in front of a person’s face as the rest of the search team pours into the offender’s home. In most cases, this depiction is accurate. U.S. citizens are protected from unlawful search and seizure by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, in some cases a warrant isn’t needed for police to search your property.
First of all, if you invite law enforcement into your home, they have a right to look around at what they see. If they notice anything in pain view hinting at evidence, they can use that observation to later get a warrant and search the entire home. Likewise, if you allow them to look around the house, they don’t need a warrant to do so because you have already given your consent.
Likewise, if you have some illegal substance in your car visible through the windows, such as a bag of marijuana, the officers can use the defense that the illegal object was in clear view. They can then lawfully seize this object and use it as evidence against you.
Additionally, if you are being arrested in your house, police officers may search for weapons or other accomplices to protect their safety, known as a protective sweep. They ca also search to prevent you or someone in your home from destroying evidence.
Last, police have the right to search and seize your property in emergency situations. For example, if they are in hot pursuit of a person and asking for a valid search warrant could put someone in danger, they are allowed to enter someone’s home to pursue the offender.
If you’re unsure whether or not your rights were violated by the police, talk to our skilled Reno criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Ken Stover has more than 20 years of legal experience to offer your case. He can take a look at your situation to see whether or not any evidence collected by law enforcement might be inadmissible as evidence because of a violation of constitutional rights.
Talk to him about your case by calling us at (775) 502-1575 or filling out our online form today.