Can police break in through a window to search a home when residents are not present?

The police broke in through a window to look for firearms; they showed me the warrant when I arrived home. Is this legal?

Asked on February 19, 2016 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the warrant allowed them to use forced entry, then it is potentially legal.  If the warrant did not authorize forced entry, then the police may be liable for the damages associated with the damage to the window.  To really know the full extent of the illegality or legality of the warrant, you need to have an attorney that practices criminal law review the document to insure that it is compliant with a forced entry warrant.


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