Although police must have a warrant to raid your home to perform a search and seizure, you still have fundamental rights under the law if you find yourself in this situation. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we know that police raids can be frightening and chaotic, which is why we are committed to helping clients uphold their rights and protect their best interests if they are facing criminal charges after a search and seizure. Below, we explain your rights and what to do if police raid your home.
Do the Police Always Need a Search Warrant?
A search warrant is a legal document that is signed by a judge and gives police the legal authority to enter and search a person’s home for evidence of a crime so they can make an arrest. However, a search warrant is only necessary if police haven’t made an arrest. If a person has already been arrested for a crime, then police can raid the premises. Police can also search your property if you consent to it or if they’ve witnessed any criminal activity there.
What Are My Rights When Police Conduct a Raid?
After police obtain a signed warrant, they will come knocking on your front door. Remember, you have legal rights you can exercise to protect yourself. Ask the police to identify themselves and request to see a signed warrant. Make sure you keep the door closed until you see the warrant. If police don’t have a warrant, do not let them into your home and do not answer any questions. Politely say, “I do not want to talk to you” or “I do not consent to a search.”
You also have the right to remain silent. Even if police have a warrant or make an arrest, you do not have to answer questions and can remain silent until you speak to a lawyer. If law enforcement officers do not have a search warrant, but they insist on searching your home after your objections, then don’t interfere with the search in any way. Doing so can result in you being arrested. Tell the police again that you do not give your consent to a search and ask anyone there with you to acknowledge that they witnessed you didn’t permit the search. Make a note or do your best to remember the names and badge numbers of the searching officers. As soon as you can, reach out to an experienced lawyer to discuss how to build a strong legal defense strategy
Have you been charged with a felony or misdemeanor after a police raid? If so, please call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today at (800) 462-7160 to request a case consultation with our reputable criminal defense lawyers.