Police Searching Without Warrant

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects people from unreasonable search and seizures. While police officers are required to produce a warrant before conducting most searches, there are exceptions to this rule.

A warrant is usually not required under the following conditions:

  • Consent – If an individual consents to the search, then a warrant is not needed. Inviting a police officer into your home can mean that the officer can search not only your home, but attached storage houses, basements, attics, etc. In most cases, it is not in your best interests to consent to a search. However, if the officer begins searching you, be polite and comply – resisting can land you in deeper trouble with the law.
  • Plain View Doctrine – If a police officer can see in plain view any illegal items, he or she can legally search the area and seize any evidence uncovered during the search.
  • Incidents in Connection with a Lawful Arrest – If a person is arrested, police officers are legally able to search the individual and the surrounding area. For example, if you are arrested for drunk driving, the officer can search you and your vehicle for any illegal items.
  • Emergency Exceptions – In very extreme circumstances such as a hot pursuit or danger to the public, police are allowed to legally enter a person’s property and search the premises. Examples of such emergencies include a pursuing a felon into a home, entering a house where a suspected victims is screaming for help, and entering a home while evidence is being destroyed.

If you have been arrested or accused of a crime, turn to our Rochester criminal defense attorney at King Law. The defense lawyer at our firm is a former prosecutor who has a deep understanding of criminal laws and search and seizure procedures. When our team works on your case, we can help you determine whether you were unlawfully searched and if this fact can be used to strengthen your defense.

Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling (585) 270-8882. We are available 24/7 to take your call.


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