When someone is overdosed and unconscious, can cops search them while they are unconscious and the paramedics are working?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2009

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When someone is overdosed and unconscious, can cops search them while they are unconscious and the paramedics are working?

The unconcious victim was a female, the MALE cop searched her pockets while she was unconcious and found a bag of heroin. He then proceeded to search a room where the door was closed, so he did not previously see any paraphanelia, and they did not have a search warrant. Is any of this legal?

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Criminal Law, Illinois


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

This is a difficult case.  Depending on the circumstances, the searches might be justified as being necessary in the emergency.  The victim might have been unconscious because of the drugs.

An attorney is going to need to review all of the facts of this case, to give you reliable advice, and that would probably start with the police report.  But I would advise following up on this, because there is a chance that the victim's rights were violated.

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