Can a police officer come into your home looking for someone if he doesn’t have a search warrant?

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Can a police officer come into your home looking for someone if he doesn’t have a search warrant?

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Usually, no, but there are exceptions, such as:

1) Hot pursuit--if the police followed someone they were trying to apprehend into your home;

2) Obvious criminal activity--if while in a public area the police can see a crime being committed in your home (e.g. standing in a street; for example, glancing up and seeing through an unshuttered window that someone is doing drugs), they may be able to enter;

3) To prevent imminent harm--the police  can come in without a warrant if there is good reason to think someone is in jeopardy (e.g. they hear screams or cries for help);

4) Someone who reasonably would have authority invites them in (for example, one roommate lets the officer(s) in)


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