Can a cop search my home without my permission and no warrant?

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Can a cop search my home without my permission and no warrant?

My boyfriend and I had an argument after he thought I was cheating. I called the cops to have them defuse the fight. They arrested him in our bedroom. The police officer came back to my house and said it was mandatory to search my home because my boyfriend is a retired cop. I never gave him permission. He didn’t have a warrant. He wasn’t the arresting officer. He found a gun in a locked closet. He also called me the next day on my cell to see how I was. What are my rights?

Asked on June 13, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Police need a warrant to conduct a search, or there must be one of a limited number of exceptions--a weapons pat down after an arrest; searching for a crime victim or injured person, when there is reason to believe there's one present, or searching for a bomb or armed suspect, etc. There is no exception for careers--that is, the fact that the boyfriend is an ex-cop does not mean that his home may be searched at will. Therefore, there is a reasonable chance that this search is illegal, and if it is, the evidence can be thrown out. If the officer did it for improper reasons--such as interest in you--the officer may be subject to discipline. You and your boyfriend should retain an attorney; you have rights.


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