Can the police enter your home without a warrant?

Can the police enter your home without a warrant?

You don’t deal with the police often, so you’re nervous when they pull up in the driveway. One of the officers comes to the door and asks to come inside. 

You know that a search warrant means officers can enter your home even if you tell them that you’d rather they didn’t do so. It overrides your own wishes. But these officers do not have a warrant and you tell them not to come in. Can they still do so?

There are some exceptions, but not many

A few exceptions to the search warrant rule do exist. They include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • The police saw something in plain sight that indicates illegal activity.
  • The police were in active pursuit of a suspect who entered the home.
  • The police believe that someone is in imminent danger and that waiting to get a warrant could be harmful.
  • The police believe that evidence of a crime is being actively destroyed and may be lost if they delay long enough to get a warrant.

The most common exception, of course, is if you tell them that they can come in. They may try to convince you to do so or intimidate you into doing it. They often count on people not knowing their rights and not understanding that they do not have to let the police enter just because they’ve requested it. If you find yourself in a complicated situation or if you think you’ve been subjected to an illegal search, it’s crucial that you know what legal rights you have. Don’t let your future be left to chance: An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

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