Is it legal for your house to be searched without consent or a search warrant?

Also can they seize property of a house guest?

Asked on July 22, 2012 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A search warrant  and/or consent are not required to search a house under certain circumstances.  If it is a search incident to an arrest, no search warrant or consent is required.  If the police are in hot pursuit of a suspect who is in the house, no search warrant or consent is required for the search.  If the search is due to exigent circumstances such as an emergency situation which could endanger the police or the public, no search warrant or consent is required to search the house.  During a lawful search, the police can seize contraband they find in the house even if it belongs to a guest.  Any contraband discovered in the house while executing a lawful search is in plain view and can be seized by the police.

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