The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution covers all entries
into homes and any other governmental searches. In other words, this amendment
provides all U.S. citizens the right to be secure in their bodies and
homes against unreasonable search and seizure, and this right cannot be
violated without a warrant based upon probable cause.
But with all constitutional laws and provisions, however, the Fourth Amendment
contains a few exceptions to the freedom against unreasonable search and
seizure and to the warrant requirement.
The following are the four main circumstances in which a warrant is not
required for police to search your house:
Consent – If the individual who is in control of the property provides consent
to the search without being tricked or coerced into doing so, a search
without a warrant is considered valid. Keep I mind, law enforcement does
not have to inform you that you have the right to refuse a search, but you do.
Plain view – If a police officer already has the right to be on your property
and sees evidence of a crime or contraband that is visible to the eye,
that object may be lawfully seized and used as evidence.
Search incident to arrest – If you are being arrested in your home, law enforcement may search
for weapons or other accomplices to protect their own safety, or they
may otherwise search to prevent the destruction of evidence.
Exigent Circumstances – This exception refers to emergency situations where the process
of getting a valid search warrant could jeopardize public safety or could
result in a loss of evidence.
For more information,
contact our Ventura criminal defense attorney at
The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert today.