Did you know that the police can’t just knock down your door and search your home for no reason? The fact is that our founding fathers wrote lots of protections against that type of scenario into the U.S. Constitution. Here are some of your fundamental rights when the police raid your home.
Rights When the Police Raid Your Home with a Warrant
The U.S. Constitution prevents the cops from coming into your house merely because they suspect that they’ll find evidence of a crime inside. Instead, they need to do the detective work required to convince a judge that they have reasonable cause to come into your home. If successful, a judge will sign a search warrant for your address.
Once the police obtain a signed warrant, you can expect a knock on your front door. Don’t forget that you have legal rights and you can protect yourself by exercising them as soon as the police get to your house. The ACLU recommends that you remember to:
- Keep the door closed until you see identification and a signed warrant.
- Stay silent until you’ve had the chance to talk to your lawyer.
- Watch everything that the police do while in your home and write down what you can remember as soon as they leave.
When the Police Don’t Need a Warrant
In most cases, the police can’t legally barge into your home without legal authorization. However, as with most things in the criminal justice system, there are exceptions to this rule. Examples of times when the police can lawfully come through your front door without a warrant include
- Consent – You give consent. Do not offer to let the police search your home.
- Probable cause – Examples include a suspect running into a house or a neighbor reports hearing gunshots in your home.
- Clear view – Evidence is visible through a window. A real-life example was when a homicide detective discovered a bloody glove outside of O.J. Simpson’s estate following the murder of his ex-wife.
- Arrest – Cops can search your home while arresting someone in it.
The good news is that any evidence discovered during an illegal search of your home can’t contribute to the evidence against you in a criminal case.
Lastly, protect yourself by remembering that you have rights when the police raid your home. Staying calm and silent will go a long way toward helping you in a criminal case.
Contact Gibson Bail Bonds when the search of your home leads to your arrest and you need to post bond.