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Can I refuse to let the cops search my home?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 05, 2015 | 0 Comments

It depends on the situation.

If the police knock on your door, ask if they have a warrant. If the police can produce the search warrant signed by a judge, then it is usually best to let them in.

If the police do not have a warrant, then you usually do not have to let them in. If the police ask for your consent without a warrant, be sure to kindly say no. Note that if a homeowner gives police his/her consent to search, the police then no longer need a warrant to carry out the search.

Also note there are some "exigent" circumstances where police may lawfully search homes without a warrant. This occurs when either:

  • The police have a reasonable belief that someone inside the home may be injured, or
  • The police are in hot pursuit of a fleeing felon who just ran into your home

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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