Typically, when police wish to search someone’s property to look
for evidence or contraband, they first need to obtain a search warrant
– a document, signed by a judge, that outlines when and where police
can search for evidence. However, there are a few exceptions that allow
authorities to conduct a search in the absence of a search warrant.
If They Have Consent
Police are not required to obtain a search warrant if the person who is
in charge of the property voluntarily agrees to the search. It’s
important to note, however, that police usually will not tell you that
you have the right to refuse the search if they don’t have a warrant.
If your current living situation is one that involves roommates, they
can give consent to have the common living areas searched – such
as the living room or kitchen – but cannot agree to a search in
any private areas, such as the bathroom or bedroom.
If Evidence is in Plain View
If the police already have a right to be on your property and can see something
relating to a crime from where they’re standing, the evidence may
be lawfully seized. Fore example, if the authorities come to your place
of residence on an assault call and notice that you’re growing marijuana
plants in the window sill, the police can seize the plants as evidence.
If it’s Incident to an Arrest
If you’re being arrested in your home, the police may do what’s
referred to as a “protective sweep.” During a protective sweep,
arresting officers will do a quick search to look for any weapons or accomplices
who may be hiding. The protective sweep should not take any longer than
the time it takes to complete the arrest.
If you’ve recently been arrested for a crime, you’ll need a
tough litigator to help you combat your charges. At The Law Office of
Jason Luong, PLLC, our Houston criminal defense attorney has tried more
than 40 cases to jury verdict and has more than a decade of trial experience.
An arrest is not a conviction. Secure the defense you need and contact
The Law Office of Jason Luong, PLLC by calling (713) 489-2009 to
schedule a free case evaluation.