Can a non-resident of my home consent to a search?

I was at work and 2 police officers went to my house. A girl that was there to let my dog out answered the door and they asked to search my house looking for a wanted person. She said the said they had a warrant but they never showed it to her. They asked for me. She said I was at work and told them she didn’t live there and didn’t think she could give permission. They said she could and advised her to. She let them in and they searched my home. They didn’t find the person. So they came to my work to talk me. They told me they searched my home but never showed me a warrant.

Asked on November 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, Kansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Consent for a search is not legally required if the police have a warrant. This is true whether or not they show it at the time of the search. Consent is only needed if the authorities do not have a warrant (there are other exceptions to the warrant requirement as well). So as long as there is a valid warrant, the police can enter and conduct a search whether or not any person present on the premises at the time is the owner, occupant or otherwise exerts control over the premises.

Additionally, the police need not produce a search warrant at the time of the search; the fact is that although one may have been validly issued, they may not physically have it at the time. However, they must produce it within reasonable time thereafter.

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