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Are there instances in which police can enter your home without a warrant?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | April 28, 2021

Police generally need to have a warrant if they plan to come to your house and enter it. Law enforcement officers generally have to show a judge that they have probable cause to search your home to secure it. Random searches are not allowed, so the judge has to determine that it’s reasonable. The search warrant allows police to enter your home even if you don’t want them to do so once they have one in hand.

As with every rule, though, there are exceptions. You may want to apprise yourself of when police can come in and search your home without a warrant.

If you give them consent

One way that police can search your home without first securing a warrant is by requesting your consent. This is why most police officers who don’t have a warrant will initiate their conversation with you by asking if they can come inside. If you say yes, then it saves them the trouble of securing that warrant. Remember that you can legally tell them they’re not allowed to enter.

If it’s an emergency

Police can also come in if there’s an emergency and there’s no time to sure a search warrant first. Law enforcement officers can enter your home without securing a warrant if they have reason to believe that someone inside it might be in imminent danger or is destroying evidence.

If they’re in hot pursuit

If the police actively chase you, then running into a building or a home will not protect you. They can still come inside to continue the pursuit, even without a warrant.

Was a search illegal?

Have you been arrested after a search that you now believe was illegal? Be sure you know exactly what defense options you have. The strategy that you employ in your case could make the difference between you a judge or jury acquitting you on all charges or you spending significant time incarcerated.


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