Can a police officer enter someone’s residence and take a bong without having permission to enter?

Asked on September 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The U.S. Constitution provides the greatest amount of protection for the entry and search of homes.  Officers can only enter if they have the permission of the owner, permission of someone with apparent and/or reasonable authority, or with permission of the court with the requisite showing of probable cause.

This is a very general statement of the law... and naturally there are some exceptions.  One exception is known as the "hot pursuit" doctrine.   If the police are in pursuit of a criminal defendant and he runs into his home, the criminal defendant is not allowed to simply call "home base" and skip out.  They may enter to finish the hot pursuit.  Before deciding to contest a search, a defendant should visit with an attorney to see if any other exceptions apply to their situation.


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