Do I Have to Let Police in My Home Without a Warrant?

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerIf you answer a knock at the door of your home, and a police officer or other law enforcement agent is on your front steps, do you know your rights? Over the years, we have seen many people expose themselves to criminal liability by not requiring law enforcement to present a warrant before allowing entry.

The Fourth Amendment Protects Citizens from Police Searches

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted to mean that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable. This means that a court will likely throw out any search of a home without a warrant as it violates the Fourth Amendment.

There are exceptions to this. One exception is if the occupant of the home gives consent for police to enter and search. If the police ask you if they can search, you do not have to say yes.

Other exceptions include if the police have “exigent circumstances,” which means that police believe that they must enter the home to prevent physical harm to others, the destruction of evidence or the escape of a suspect. In these situations, the police do not need a warrant before entering a home.

But Won’t You Look Guilty If You Require a Warrant for Entry?

Sometimes people justify consenting to these intrusions by saying that they did not want to “look guilty” to police. Perhaps they hope that police do not find contraband. Other times people may believe that they have nothing to hide, so they should let the police search their homes.

A decision to allow police to enter a home based on either of these two scenarios is often in error. It is your right as an American to demand a warrant. A judge or jury cannot use your refusal against you to infer that you have something to hide.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are accused of a crime, you have enumerated rights under state and federal law. At our firm, we protect those rights fully.

Our attorney will examine every detail of your case to make sure that your rights have been respected and that law enforcement agents acted in accordance with the law. We will also review your case, examine possible plea deals and formulate your best defense.

To get in touch with our skilled Chicago, IL federal criminal defense lawyer, call us at 312-629-0669.

 

Source:

http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/what-does-0

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