Do the police need a warrant to enter a house

A person was running from the police. The person
ran into his house. The police claim to the wife that
they heard him in the house and saw him through
the window when they came to the door. They said
to have him come out or they would have to go in
and get him. He refused to come out. They told the
wife that if they don’t let her in she is harboring a
fugitive. They said they did not need a warrant. Is
that true?

Asked on April 10, 2017 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, the police need a search warrant before they can enter and search your home. That having been said, there are 4 exceptions to this rule: 1. Consent - if the person who is in control of the property allows the search without being forced or tricked into doing so; 2. Plain View - if the police already have the right to be on your property and contraband/evidence of a crime is clearly visible, then it may be lawfully seized and used as evidence; 3. Search Incident to Arrest - if you are being arrested in your house, the police may search for weapons/other accomplices to protect their safety and/or they may search to prevent the destruction of evidence; 4. Exigent Circumstances - This refers to emergency situations getting a valid search warrant could compromise public safety or could lead to a loss of evidence (this encompasses "hot pursuit" in which a suspect is about to escape).


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