Is it legal for the maintenance man to let the police into my apartment whileI was at workwithout my consent or a search warrant?

My husband broke the law; he was arrested then put in jail and let out on bail. He did not return to his court date so now the police is looking for him. They have searched my home at least 3 times before and found nothing. I don’t know where he is but the police are insinuating that they can arrest me to and that I know where he is. So while I was at work the maintenance man let them in again without my being there and without a warrant or my consent. Is this legal? Why are they harassing me? I have a small child to take care of and if I knew where this fool was I would tell them.

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should retain an attorney to help you in this case, if you are being harassed by the police and threatened with arrest.

There are a limited number of situations where the police may enter a home without a warrant, but those typically involve public safety (e.g. there's a belief that there's a hostage or injured person in the home, or someone with weapon who'se about to use it, etc.). Even there were not emergency circumstances which would justify a warrantless entry, then the police would have had no right to enter, and the maintenance man could not legally let them in.

Clearly, if you were harboring or hiding a fugitive, you could be arrested--doing so, or impeding an investigation or police work--is  crime. So the police may legitimately believe you are doing this. However, at a certain point, if they don't have enough to take action and arrest you, their threats or insinuations may turn into harassment or misconduct.


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