Can a sheriff search my house without consent?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2012

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Can a sheriff search my house without consent?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There are a number of circumstances where a law enforcement officer can search a dwelling without a homeowner's (or renter's) consent:

1)  If there is a search warrant;

2) If another person with a legal right to possession (such as a co-owner or co-tenant; a spouse; a landlord, in some circumstances) has given persmission;

3) If there was a call for help, sounds of struggle, bloodstains, or other evidence that someone is in the home and is in danger or injured;

4) If the law enforcement officer saw criminal activity inside the home while he/she was still outside--for example, glanced up through a picture window and saw drug use;

5) If they pursued a criminal into the home.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states asw ell as federal law a deputy sheriif or any other law enforcement personnel cannot search a person's home absent consent subject to the following exceptions:

1. a valid search warrant;

2. a search incident to an arrest where the person arrested was arrested at his or her house;

3. hot pursuit of a suspected criminal or in response to a request that a criminal act happened at the 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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