What is the law regarding an illegal search?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is the law regarding an illegal search?

If the sheriff assumed that he had permission to search our house for someone they was told entered our house. In the process of the search he came upon 2 pot plants in our basement which they seized that same night. Wouldn’t they have to have gone and obtained a search warrant and came in on a different case to seize and charge us with something. Also, wouldn’t they have arrested someone that very night? How long do they have to come back and press charges?

Asked on December 10, 2015 under Criminal Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If the sheriff had permission to search, he does not need a warrant: searchs can be by consent. Permission can be given by any member of the household, by a landlord (if you are renting), or sometimes (depending the circumstances) by someone whom the sheriff would reasonably, in good faith believe had authority to let you in, even if he/she did not (like some houseguest of yours).
They do not need to arrest you on the spot, and they have, typically, at least six months and often up to 2 years to bring criminal charges, dependng on the exact violation or crime they charge you, with for something like this.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption