Do you have to let the police in your home if they don’t have a warrant?

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Do you have to let the police in your home if they don’t have a warrant?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Only in certain very limited--and fairly self-evident--circumstances. For example, say that there is a gunshot heard from your house, or a scream like someone is injured or in distress, or a cry for help; then the police can enter, as they could if they see a fugitive run into the home, under the exigent circumstances exception. Or if they can see illegality from a public place--e.g. walking past your home on the sidewalk, they glance up and see someone in your living room shooting up heroin or waving an illegal firearm (like a machine pistal), then can enter. But without exigent (or urgent or emergency circumstances) or illegality/crime visible from the street, then the police should need a warrant--or the permission of someone resident in the house--to enter.


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