If the police arrive to search your home, it is critical to know how you can protect your rights. The first step to do this is to understand when police can search your home or property.
Here are some of the basic facts to know about police searches – whether or not they have a warrant.
A search is allowed with a valid warrant
You may know that a search warrant is usually necessary for police to search your home or property. However, a search warrant is not an all-access pass for police to violate your privacy. Even if the police have a warrant, it must be valid for the search to be lawful.
A valid search warrant must:
- Have a judge’s signature
- List the date and be executed within 10 days of that date
- Detail exactly where police plan to search and what they are looking for
- These are only some of the requirements a search warrant must meet to be valid under the law.
You have the right to review the search warrant. In fact, Minnesota law even requires police officers to provide you with a copy of the warrant when they conduct the search.
You should read the warrant carefully to make sure it is valid.
Can police search without a warrant?
There are a few situations when the police can search your property without a warrant. As the Minnesota House of Representatives notes, these cases include but are not limited to:
- When police make a lawful arrest
- If you consent to a search
- If evidence is in plain view
Depending on the situation, a search could be allowed with or without a warrant. That is why it is so important to understand both circumstances of a lawful search. That way, you can challenge the findings from unlawful searches and defend your future.