If you have drugs in your possession or in your home, or if you've been arrested because of drugs that were seized from your property, it's important to know your rights. Although the police may search private residences, they may do so only under certain circumstances. Below are some of the details of when the police are allowed to search private residences.
Can a police officer search your home for drugs?
A police officer can search your home for drugs if:
- You give consent. A police officer may search your home; however, the reason the police officer gives for searching your home should be (more or less) honest. If you give permission for the police officer to enter, you can still set limits on the areas where the police officer can go.
- If the police officer has a search warrant. A police officer with probable cause can go to a judge and request a search warrant to search your home. If the police officer has a warrant, he or she does not need permission to enter the premises.
- If the item is in plain view. If the police are already on your property for legal reasons, and an officer happens to see something illegal in your home, he or she can take that item from you as evidence.
- In emergency circumstances. Police can also enter your home in certain situations if waiting for a warrant could cause a loss of evidence or a public safety issue. For example, if the police are chasing a suspect and the suspect enters your home, the police may follow. Once in your home, items that are in plain view may be seized as evidence.
If a police officer lies to get your permission to enter your home, is the consent still valid?
Often if the police lie about the reasons that they're entering your home, the consent becomes invalid. However, it depends on the circumstances. The final decision is made in court. This is why it's important to contact a qualified and experienced drug defense attorney. He or she will know how to defend your rights in a court of law and how to frame the argument to show that the evidence was seized illegally. This could result in a dismissal of your case, or it could help you win your case if it continues in court. If you are facing drug charges based on something that was confiscated from your home, contact a reputable drug defense attorney in your area today.