The basic rule of law is that a warrantless entry by police into a private home is presumed unreasonable. However, there are exceptions to this basic rule.
For example, officers may enter a home without a warrant if a resident gives voluntary consent. But consent, without more, does not give an officer permission to search the entire residence or objects within the residence. Further, whether or not a person really consented is often debatable.
Other narrow exceptions to the general rule
Another exception is when an officer has probable cause to believe that exigent circumstances exist (immediate action is needed). Such an officer may enter without a warrant to provide aid to someone; to protect officers from persons whom they reasonably believe to be present, armed, and dangerous; or to prevent the destruction of evidence or contraband. Another exception is when an officer who is in a lawful position sees criminal contraband in plain view inside the home.
All these issues can be addressed with a motion to suppress filed by the attorney of a person charged. A winning motion can be the end of the criminal case!
If you or someone you know believes they are the victim of an unlawful home entry by police, then call Mingledorff Law Firm at 281-810-9721. We have handled these claims and asserted these defenses in the Courtroom for 34 years. Our attorneys are well decorated with victories related to this issue. Again, Better Ring Ming at 281-810-9721.