Can a police officer just walk into your house if he has a warrant for your arrest?

UPDATED: Mar 8, 2012

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Can a police officer just walk into your house if he has a warrant for your arrest?

My wife had a warrant for her arrest. She was in the bathroom; nobody else was there. When the officer showed up and asked my wife’s friend, who was outside, if my wife was there she was there, she said no so he started leave. However, my neighbor said she was there. So the police officer came back and walked around my house and just walked in. He ever knocked and just went into my living room and yelled out for her. She came out of the bathroom. Is that legal he never saw her before entering?

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An arrest warrant and a search warrant are two different things. With an arrest warrant, a police officer can arrest you anywhere, be it your home or the grocery store. With a search warrant, the officer has to first get permission from a judge or magistrate (or convince them of probable cause needed to perform a search) to sign off on a search warrant which gives them permission to enter and search your home or private dwelling. In this case, if your wife did indeed have a arrest warrant, then that officer will be justified in making the arrest inside your home.

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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