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When can police enter and search your home?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

There are many ways that you can defend yourself against criminal charges. Asking the court to dismiss the charges because the police violated your rights or broke the law in their attempt to build a case against you is a somewhat common defense strategy.

You have to know your rights in order to determine if the police violated them during their investigation, arrest or treatment of you. When it comes to entering your home, officers have to adhere to certain standards or risk what they find inside not being admissible in court. It’s important to know when police can legally enter your home.

Police can enter if they secure a search warrant

If investigators already have compelling evidence, they may be able to convince a judge to sign off on a search warrant. That warrant will give them the authority to search for certain things in your house. You can ask for the warrant before allowing entry. Unsigned or improperly completed warrants don’t necessarily grant police entry to your home.

Police can enter your home if they suspect a crime in progress

If an officer chases someone into your neighborhood and thinks they see them come through your front door, they can potentially force their way into the house because they believe someone involved in criminal activity is at the property. Sounds, such as screams, threats or even the flushing of a toilet that could indicate criminal activity. Police can enter if they think someone’s life is at risk or even if they suspect that the people inside are in the process of destroying evidence by shredding it or flushing it down the toilet.

Police can enter if you give them permission

The easiest way for police to get into your house is to ask you. Many people don’t like to say no and will try their best to accommodate officers. You can talk to them through the door or go outside instead of inviting them in. Knowing your rights will make it easier for you to stand up for yourself against police intimidation and inappropriate investigation tactics.

Anyone who suspects police misconduct in their case should review the details with a lawyer to see if those issues might impact their defense options.