When Can Law Enforcement Carry Out a Search Without a Warrant?

Valid Searches and Seizures Without Warrants?

Evidence gathered during a search can be incriminating. However, if the search was illegal or carried without a search warrant, the evidence collected in such a situation cannot be presented in court. However, there are situations where a search can be conducted without the need for a search warrant.

The first one is a search incident to a lawful arrest. When a person is arrested, law enforcement has the authority to search in and around that person. For example, if one is arrested on the street for an alleged crime, the police can lawfully search the area around the suspect to determine if they have dropped or placed anything down.

Another example is where one has been arrested for DUI. In such an arrest, law enforcement is allowed to search for anything else illegal inside the vehicle.

If one is arrested inside their home or inside a structure on an arrest warrant, law enforcement is authorized to search for contraband in the area in and around where the suspect was standing, or sitting at the time of the arrest.

An exception to this law, for instance, is where the police enter a home to make a lawful arrest and find the suspect seated or in the kitchen. They would not be authorized under the search incident to lawful arrest to search the bedroom, basement, or start rummaging through the suspect’s car. The law confines the search incident to lawful arrest to allow law enforcement to search the area around where the suspect was standing or seated.

If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, contact Mark Shayani of Pacific Attorney Group. He can provide a free consultation in office or by phone and is available to answer any question you may have.

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