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Under What Conditions May Police Search My Home in California?

Posted by William Aron | Feb 16, 2022

Our homes are often the places where we feel the safest. While it is usually the case that what is inside your home is your private property, if you have been accused of a crime, there is a chance that your privacy may be breached if law enforcement chooses to search your home for evidence.

Aron Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm with experience helping clients who have had their homes searched illegally in California. If the police have searched your home to look for evidence of a crime you have been accused of, it is crucial that you understand what conditions make that search legal.

When Can the Police Search a Home in California?

In most cases, law enforcement must have a valid, judge-issued search warrant in order to search the home of a crime suspect in California. However, there are many exceptions to this rule that would allow police to legally enter and search your home. If any of the following are true, police may enter and search your home without a search warrant:

  • You or another person with authority over the property has given consent to the search of the home
  • There is imminent danger to life or a threat of severe damage to the property
  • The search of the home takes place in connection with a lawful arrest and is done to protect the safety of the arresting officers or to safeguard evidence about the arrest offense that someone may destroy otherwise

If you have had your home searched following an arrest for a crime, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you understand whether or not the police did so legally or if your rights were compromised.

What Are Your Rights Concerning the Search of Your Home?

If law enforcement wants to search your home after you have been arrested for a crime, it is crucial that you know your rights under California law. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 13, of the California Constitution provide that all California citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If valid evidence is presented that proves that an unreasonable search and seizure took place, then any evidence obtained may not be used against the defendant in their criminal trial.

Some examples of when a home search by law enforcement may go against your rights include:

  • You may agree to let police look around without a warrant but when they begin to open cabinets in your home and ask them to stop, they proceed anyway.
  • The police enter your home on an anonymous tip that there is a person in imminent danger inside your home, but after failing to find the person in your home, they proceed to search through drawers, cabinets, and boxes unrelated to the crime in question.

A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your rights regarding search and seizure in your California home.

Get Help from a California Criminal Defense Lawyer

As a California citizen, you have the right to not be subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure in your home. If you have had your home illegally searched by law enforcement, then a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you get justice.

The criminal defense lawyers at Aron Law Firm are dedicated to helping clients in California by defending their legal rights. Our attorneys are passionate about helping clients understand their rights while providing the knowledgeable legal services they deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact us here or call (805) 618-1768.

About the Author

William Aron

Our firm is managed by William M. Aron. William M. Aron is a graduate from the Duke University School of Law and an active member of the California State Bar Association. While at Duke University, Mr. Aron also earned an M.A. in Psychology, authoring a paper examining the efficacy of polygraph e...

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