Sometimes, the police will try to overstep what they are lawfully allowed to do, taking advantage of people. We are here to give you a few reminders on what police can and can’t do.
Protect Your Rights
Request a Warrant
If the police do not have a warrant, you do not have to consent to a search of your car or home. If police threaten to come back with one, then tell them that would be excellent. Truthfully, if the police could obtain a warrant, they already would have. Remember to remain civil and polite when dealing with situations like this, but stand firm when it comes to your rights. If they try to barge in, call your lawyer because anything they will try to use is an unlawful seizure. Don’t get upset or touch an officer, just politely refuse and close the door.
Reasons for Search Without Warrant
There are a few cases when an officer would have the right to search your car or home without a warrant.
If you or another person deemed in control of the property consents to a search, then they have the right to search without a warrant. However, you absolutely do not have to consent.
If an officer already has the right to be on your property (due to a traffic stop or a domestic call) and he or she spots illegal items (like drugs or weapons) or sees a crime in progress or evidence of a crime, then he or she gains the right to search your property. They may also search your property if a door or window is open where they can easily see a crime or illegal item.
Search Incident to Arrest
If police are there to arrest you in your home or in your car, they can search for weapons or accomplices to protect their own safety or the safety of other individuals on the premises, as well as to prevent the destruction of any potential evidence.
This exception gives police the right to search and seize evidence in situations where the process of obtaining a valid search warrant would compromise public safety or lead to destruction or loss of evidence. Usually, these types of seizures occur with individuals, groups, or properties that are regularly involved in illegal activities.