Can a police officer, who is in apartment for unresponsive subject, open closed doors and search the room?

How long can police “impound your apartment” while seeking a search warrant?

Asked on November 14, 2015 under Criminal Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While there is no one-size fits all answer (the specific circumstances matter), in many cases, they could do this, if any of the following apply:
1) There is some reason to think there may be other people needing assistance there;
2) There is some reason to think there may be  an attacker or criminal in the unit;
3) There is some reason to think there may be an unsecured weapon (e.g. the nonresponsive subject had injuries consistent with weapon use)  which needs to be located and secured;
4) There is reason to think there may be evidence which will help the nonresponsive individual (e.g. if he/she appears to have overdosed, finding a sample of the drug[s] could help treat him or her).

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