Can a sheriff search my house without consent?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There are a number of circumstances where a law enforcement officer can search a dwelling without a homeowner's (or renter's) consent:

1)  If there is a search warrant;

2) If another person with a legal right to possession (such as a co-owner or co-tenant; a spouse; a landlord, in some circumstances) has given persmission;

3) If there was a call for help, sounds of struggle, bloodstains, or other evidence that someone is in the home and is in danger or injured;

4) If the law enforcement officer saw criminal activity inside the home while he/she was still outside--for example, glanced up through a picture window and saw drug use;

5) If they pursued a criminal into the home.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states asw ell as federal law a deputy sheriif or any other law enforcement personnel cannot search a person's home absent consent subject to the following exceptions:

1. a valid search warrant;

2. a search incident to an arrest where the person arrested was arrested at his or her house;

3. hot pursuit of a suspected criminal or in response to a request that a criminal act happened at the home.

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