The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects us from
unreasonable search and seizures, but as with most rules, there are exceptions.
In some cases, authorities can conduct a search without filing for a warrant.
In this blog, our Dallas criminal defense attorney explains when a warrant
is not needed to conduct a search.
If you, or the person in charge of the property voluntarily gives consent
to the search, the police can enter and conduct a search without a warrant.
Law enforcement will usually fail to mention that you have every right
to refuse the search in the absence of a warrant. Keep in mind, however,
that they can only search what you consented to. For example, if you agree
with a search of the living room and bedrooms, the police cannot go into
your garage and search the inside of your vehicle.
If the police can spot criminal contraband or evidence in what’s
referred to as “plain sight,” he or she does not need a warrant
to enter the house or building in order to seize the materials. The officer
must already have permission to be on the property where the evidence
was spotted. For example, if the police answer an assault call and can
see drugs on the coffee table through the window, they can enter the home
and conduct a search.
Incident to an Arrest
Authorities will usually do a protective sweep of an area if it’s
in connection of an arrest that has just been made. Typically, a protective
sweep is used to find any hidden accomplices or weapons. The search should
be done quickly and take no longer than the time it took to place a suspect
If you’ve been arrested or are being investigated for a crime, you
should not wait another moment to begin building the defense you need
to safeguard your future. Call Dallas criminal defense Attorney Peter
Barrett at (214) 307-8667 or contact the firm online to
schedule a free consultation.