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When Do Police Have the Right to Search My Home?


You may be the target of drug charges because the police took evidence from your property. A crucial question is whether the police had the right to search your property, such as your home. It is important for you to know if the police had the right to enter your home in the first place.

Flex Your Rights points out that in the vast majority of cases the police must have a search warrant to conduct a home search.

Showing Up With a Warrant

If the police have a search warrant, you will have to let them in. Still, you can ask to look at the warrant before permitting the police inside. You might crack open the door but keep the door bound by a chain lock. You could then ask for the police to show you the warrant. It should have the signature of a judicial officer and list your address as the place the police will search.

Showing Up Without a Warrant

If the police do not have a warrant, they may seek consent to enter. If you do not provide it, any evidence the police gather from your home may not be admissible in court and could cause the court to throw out the charges against you.

You still may talk to the police outside your home if you wish. You should also check on your visitors through a peephole or ask them who they are so that you know if they are police are not. They may attempt to gain entry without identifying themselves.

Understanding Consent May Protect Your Rights

If the police enter your home, they might spot evidence if it is in plain view. Under the plain view doctrine, the police can take illegal items as evidence, which may lead to an arrest. If you understand your rights, you may figure out whether the police legally gathered evidence from you.