Your Rights Against Police Searches When You Are Away
Illegal Searches While You Are Away From Home – Know Your Rights
You may know that the police generally don’t get to search your home without a warrant or permission. What happens, though, if someone else lets them in? Many of us live in a rental home or share a living space with a roommate. If that person lets the police in, you may think you lose your privacy rights. Fortunately, it does not work that way. If the police search your home without you present, they may not be able to use anything they find against you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you here.
If you rent your home, your landlord almost certainly has the ability to unlock the doors and let someone in. That said, the physical ability does not give him or her a legal right to invite the police in. Unless you have given your consent or there is a reason to believe there is an emergency, the police cannot enter without your permission.
Having roommates makes the situation more complicated. If they are on the lease for your home, any of them can give consent for the police to enter. The common living areas, like the living room, kitchen, and other non-private areas, are available for the police to search. Still, if you have your own bedroom, someone else’s permission to enter does not give them the right to search that room. If the police find evidence in your room in this situation, it can be thrown out at a trial later.
Of course, if the police obtain a proper search warrant, they do gain the legal right to enter your home, even if you are not there. In that scenario, you would need to challenge the validity of the warrant. It can seem like the police have unlimited rights, but both the United States and Wisconsin constitutions give you a right to privacy against an unreasonable search. For help with your criminal defense, contact Eisenberg Law Offices online or at 608-256-8356.