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Can Police search your home without a warrant?


A search of a residence generally may only be conducted pursuant to a lawful warrant. Searches conducted without a warrant are illegal subject only to a few specific exceptions. The remedy for an illegal warrantless search is the suppression of the evidence obtained from the search.

One exception to the warrant requirement is when exigent circumstances exist. Under the exigent circumstances exception, police may enter a residence without a warrant when they reasonably believe that a person within the residence is in need of immediate aid.

In Cudworth v. State, in which the defendant was represented by our Steven Knecht, the Court of Appeals held that the warrantless search of the defendant’s home by police officers was not justified under the exigent-circumstances exception to the warrant requirement. Even though the officers had received a 911 call that a person by a certain name was being held at gunpoint at the home, and one officer knew that the person with that name had been at the home one month prior; just prior to moment of entry, the officers saw several persons exit the home as instructed to do so by the police dispatch, one person who had been in the home told officers that no one was inside, the 911 call was anonymous and lacked proof of reliability, and the officers saw nothing at the home that corroborated the 911 call. As a result, the defendant’s conviction for Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine was reversed and the drug lab evidence obtained in the illegal search was suppressed.

If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire experienced criminal defense lawyers such as Vonderheide & Knecht to help you fight the State.

Filed to Ask a Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Marijuana & Other Drugs

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