Fort Lauderdale Illegal Home Entry Attorney
Generally speaking, law enforcement officers in Fort Lauderdale are required to obtain a search warrant before they enter your home. This is a protection granted to all residents of the United States under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizures and when evidence is obtained through an illegal search, it cannot be used against the accused during their criminal trial.
There are some exceptions to the warrantless search and entry laws, but they are limited. If you believe officers entered your home without the authority to do so, our Fort Lauderdale illegal home entry attorney can help you restore your rights.
What is Not Illegal Home Entry?
There are several situations in which police may enter your home, without a warrant, and that entry is still considered legal. These situations include when:
- Law enforcement has obtained a valid search warrant from a Florida or federal judge,
- A person with authority has consented to the search of the home,
- Law enforcement has reason to believe there is an emergency situation that includes imminent danger to life or property, and
- Law enforcement are making a lawful arrest, but even this scenario only applies in limited circumstances and for limited purposes
Even in the above situations, law enforcement does not have free rein when searching a home. This is particularly true if you or someone else has consented to police entering your property.
Consent and Illegal Home Entry
In most situations, a person with authority to provide consent to home entry is someone that lives in the home. However, that does not have to be the person that is under suspicion. For example, if law enforcement suspected that you had committed a crime and your roommate gave them permission to enter your home, that is not an illegal home entry because your roommate has authority to provide consent. Still, there are limitations on searches conducted when consent has been given.
The first is the scope of the consent. Even with a search warrant, law enforcement can only search certain areas of the home and they can only look for certain evidence. When a search warrant has not been obtained but consent has been given, this concept of the scope of consent still applies.
For example, law enforcement may ask a suspect if they can search their garage and the suspect may agree. If police enter the home after searching the garage and continue to search, that is an unlawful search and illegal home entry and any evidence obtained is inadmissible in court. Consent must also be voluntary and not coerced, and it can be withdrawn at any time.
Our Illegal Home Entry Attorney in Fort Lauderdale Will Protect Your Rights
You may have many questions about when police can enter and search your home, and our Fort Lauderdale illegal home entry attorney at Meldon Law can answer them and ensure your rights are upheld. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.