A search warrant is a warrant that is issued by a judge. It gives a police agency the ability to search your home or car if there is a logical reason to believe that you may have committed a crime. A search warrant prevents cops from illegally searching anyone and everyone. However, while cops typically need a search warrant to search, there are cases in which a search warrant is not legally required. Here are a few of the reasons why a search warrant may not be required.
When Items Are In Plain Sight
If you have illegal items in plain sight, a police officer does not need your permission or a warrant to search. For example, if a police officer pulls you over and they can see a joint or crack pipe in your center console, they can ask you to exit the vehicle and search your car without obtaining a search warrant. When something illegal is visible, there is no longer a need for a search warrant.
When You Have Given Permission to Search
Another common reason why a search warrant may not be required is because you have permitted police officers to search. For example, if a police officer knocks on your door when they are searching for a missing child, they may ask if they can look inside your home. You have the option of saying yes, you can search or no, you may not search. If they find something illegal in your home during their search, even if it is not what they are specifically looking for, you can be arrested. As such, you should never give permission or consent to a search unless you are positive there is nothing illegal to find in your home or vehicle.
When You Have Been Placed Under Arrest
A police office needs specific evidence in order to place you under arrest. Once you have been placed under arrest for a crime, they no longer need a search warrant to search your immediate surroundings or your person. If you are arrested in your home, they can search your home. If you are arrested in your car, they can search your vehicle. It is important to note, though, that this only applies to the area around you when you are arrested. If you are arrested in your car, a search warrant is needed for your home.
When You Are Out on Probation or Parole
One of the conditions of being out of jail on probation or parole is that your person, home or vehicle can be subjected to search at any time. You give up this right when you agree to being released early on probation or parole. An officer does not need a warrant to search any of these things at any time when you are still on probation or parole.
When There is An Immediate Concern For Safety and Public Well-Being
The last reason no search warrant may be needed is because there is an immediate concern for someone's safety and the well-being of the public. For example, if a cop asks you to exit your vehicle, they may pat you down for weapons if they suspect you may have one to ensure they are kept safe while doing their job.
Items that are found during a search may land you in jail. This can be a trying time for both you and your family. At Free at Last Bail Bonds, we understand the importance and urgency of reuniting families. If you or a loved one needs our services, we are here for you 24 hours a day. Call us to get the help you need at 404-577-2245.