What is the law regarding an illegal search?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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