In the US, how may the police legally enter a private residence without a search warrant?
#108835. Asked by star_gazer. (Sep 15 09 12:28 AM)
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, most searches by the police require a search warrant based on probable cause, although there are exceptions. Any police entry of an individual's home always requires a warrant (for either search or arrest), absent exigent circumstances, or the free and voluntary consent of a person with reasonably apparent use of or control over the property. Some commonly cited exigent circumstances are: hot pursuit of a felon (to prevent a felon's escape or ability to harm others); imminent destruction of evidence before a warrant can properly be obtained; emergency searches (such as where someone is heard screaming for help inside a dwelling); or a search incident to arrest (to mitigate the risk of harm to the arresting officers specifically).|
In each of the situations below, a police officer does not need a search warrant to conduct a search.
1. If an individual voluntarily consents (agrees to) a search, no warrant is needed.
2. A police officer that spots something in plain view does not need a search warrant to seize the object.
3. If a suspect has been legally arrested, the police may search the defendant and the area within the defendant's immediate control.
4. Following an arrest, the police may make a protective sweep search if they reasonably believe that a dangerous accomplice may be hiding in an area near where the defendant was arrested.
5. If the police stop a car based on probable cause, they can search for objects related to the reason for the stop without obtaining a warrant.
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