If the police get a search warrant, they can use it to enter your home and perform the search. The warrant may specify what type of evidence the police are looking for, and where in the house they are allowed to search. For instance, it may say that they can search the house and not the garage, or something of this nature. The police have to abide by these regulations.
But what if they don’t have a search warrant at all? There are still some ways in which they can enter your house that it’s important to know. These include:
To begin with, some emergencies happen so quickly that there’s no time for them to realistically get a warrant. Maybe they are chasing someone who was just involved in a crime, and that person runs inside of a house. Or perhaps the police believe that there’s a danger to the public, such as someone inside the home with a firearm. They can sometimes enter the home in an emergency without violating the homeowner’s rights.
Outside of that, however, they typically need to get consent. They may try to be very pushy or aggressive, as police may think they can manipulate someone into believing they have to give consent. But this is not true, and homeowners are allowed to refuse the police entry if they would like.
After an arrest
Have you been arrested and do you believe the police may have violated your rights in the process, perhaps by entering your home illegally? If so, it’s quite important for you to understand all the legal options at your disposal.