What constitutes an unlawful search and seizure?

I had an outdoor house party, 2 hours into the party I saw at least 10 police officers already inside my gated house. They proceeded to run into my house (without my consent) and one by one take individuals that looked for refuge inside. I, along with my roommate, each received 30 counts of supplying alcohol to minors. My question is, isn’t their search of my house and rooms against my fourth amendment rights? Wouldn’t any criminal charge after this unlawful search and entry of my house be thrown out? Can my roommate be charged with supplying alcohol to minors if he is not even of age to buy alcohol?

Asked on September 19, 2010 under Criminal Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You and your roommate should be consulting with a criminal defense attorney, since much depends on the specific  circumstances. Generally though, IF criminal activity--like underage drinking--can be seen from public space (e.g. from the road nearby)--the police may enter to deal with the situation; the fact that the criminality can be seen from a public location provides sufficient cause. Also, it's possible a complaint, even possibly a complaint of dangerous behavior, might have been phoned in by a neighbor; depending on context, that could also provide sufficient cause.

As for underage drinking yiour roommate needs to check with a criminal defense attorney, but the statute is usually written so that the age of the supplier/provider is not a factor.

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