What are my son’s rights if he was caught in our house with marijuana, if the police didn’t havea search or permission to search?

The police came to my house when I was not home and my 17 year old son and his 16 year old friend were in my apartment. My son was playing music because our upstairs neighbor had been playing music for about an hour and a half. My son’s music was not on very loud but our upstairs neighbor had turned their music off and called the cops on my son saying he has been playing music for well over 2 hours. When the police came my son told them if they don’t have a warrant, they cannot search the house. They admitted there was no smell until they got into my son’s bedroom, which is no where by the front door. Should we speak to a criminal defense attorney? We’re in Oak Lawn, IL.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Criminal Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your son and his 16 year old friend have been charged with the illegal possession of a controlled substance as the result of what you have written, they should consult with a criminal defense attorney as to the best way to resolve the charge albeit they most likely will be charged as juveniles.

If they are convicted as a juvenile for possession of marijuana, they could be fined and even sentenced to a juvenile detention facility.

As to whether or not law enforcement illegally entered the apartment would be best determined by a criminal defense attorney after reading the police report. If there was no probable cause for the entry into the apartment by law enforcement and the result of the illegal entry the marijuana was discovered, then possibly the illegal substance can be supressed by a motion to be filed by a good criminal defense attorney as a violation of the minor's 4th Amendment Consitutional rights.


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