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

UPDATED: Jun 13, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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