When Is It Legal For The Police To Search Your House?

Posted on: 6 April 2020


If you are under criminal investigation, you should know that the police need a legal ground or reason to search your house. Below are some of the applicable legal grounds for a police search.

Search Warrant

A search warrant is an order that gives the police the authority to search a specific location for specific items. A judge issues the warrant and gives it to the police, either as an electronic or a paper document. For example, if the police suspect you of a drug crime, then a judge may give the police a search warrant to look for drug-related materials in your house. In such a case, the police have the authority to use force to execute their search warrant if you stand in their way.

With Consent

The police can also search your house if you give them permission to do so. The police can sometimes frame their request in a manner that suggests it is more than a request. However, a verbal agreement to the police request still counts as permission. The police sometimes make such requests if they don't have time or reasons to get a warrant and don't have strong evidence that constitutes probable cause.

Protection Necessity

The police have the right to defend themselves against a physical threat. The police's right to self-defense includes entering your house to look for weapons if the police suspect you have one in the house. Say the police are questioning you in your doorway and notice your partner holding something that looks like a gun in the house. The police can use the protection necessity rule to get into the house and look for the gun so that your partner doesn't shoot them.

Arrest Related

The police can also search your house without any other reason after they have arrested you in your home. Say the police were hunting you for a drug-related crime, and they finally arrested you in your house. After the arrest, the police have the right to scour your house for evidence related to your alleged crime.

The police may search your house as part of a criminal investigation against you. Describe the search in detail when talking to your lawyer. In case of an illegal search, your lawyer may use the illegality in your criminal defense.

To learn more about your rights and your options, contact a criminal lawyer in your local area.