AggressiveCriminal Defense For Texans

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Can the police search my property without a warrant?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If the police have something on you, there is a pretty good chance they will come to your home or place of work in search of any evidence that they use against you to initiate a criminal trial or secure a conviction. Most often, the police will obtain a warrant to search and seize your property. But what if they do not have any? Can they still search and seize your property?

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects American citizens and residents from unlawful search and seizure. Basically, this means that the police must obtain a signed warrant before they can search and seize your property. If they do, any evidence they obtain therein can be rendered inadmissible in court. 

However, there are a couple of exceptions. In other words, there are instances when the police can, indeed, search and seize your property without first obtaining a warrant. Here are some of these instances:

When you willfully grant them access to your property

If you or your roommate allow the police to enter and search a home, you will be legally deemed to have consented to the search. In this case, any evidence obtained therein can be used against you in court. However, it’s important to understand that the police cannot search other residents’ private spaces without consent. 

When there is a hot pursuit

Whereas your property is private, it may not harbor a suspect. Thus, if a suspect who is being pursued by the police enters a property, the law allows the police to follow and arrest the suspect in question without first obtaining a warrant. 

Being a person of interest in a criminal matter is a big deal. Learning more about your legal options (and obligations) during a criminal investigation can help you safeguard your rights and interests while interacting with law enforcement.