Can the police remove you from your home without a search warrant?

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Can the police remove you from your home without a search warrant?

About 2 weeks ago, the police arrested an 18 year-old male for car theft and possession of stolen property. He was seen fleeing my yard. We he was caught, he allegedly wrote a statement saying that we let him into the house to hide 2 guns, a speaker box, and a sub-woofer. Then, the cops knocked on my door at 6 in the morning, and proceeded to kick me, my father, and our roommates out with no explanation of what was going on. We did not receive a search warrant until about 8 hours later. What do we do?

Asked on November 7, 2010 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A search warrant is not required if it is a search incident to an arrest which occurred here.  Based on the suspect's statement, the police had probable cause to search your home for the items.  If they had gotten a warrant prior to the search, the items may have been gone by the time they returned with the warrant.  In addition, there was a public safety issue regarding the location of the guns.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely you would prevail in a lawsuit against the police based on this being a search incident to an arrest in which no search warrant is required.


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