Can police refuse to show a warrant to search your home? 47 Answers as of June 09, 2013

Can police enter your home without your permission and search for a wanted by warrant person and refuse to show the warrant?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
In order to enter your house police must either have: 1) warrant, 2) a warrant exception (such as emergency circumstances where they can enter without a warrant), or 3) permission of the owner. If they have a warrant, you have a right to see it. If they refuse, have an attorney look into the matter for you to see if any rights were violated.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
No. You must be shown a warrant as the search is being conducted. Evidence seized by be challenged and suppressed if service or the search itself are improper.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/18/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
They should show the warrant. Talk to your attorney about demanding to see a copy of it.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/17/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
If the residence is yours and the police are searching for someone based upon a warrant, then they should be required to show it to you. If they do not, you may have an argument in court against anything discovered inside. This will be different in every case though so the result will depend upon the exact details of yours. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, I invite you to contact my firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/17/2011
Furlong & Drewniak PLLC
Furlong & Drewniak PLLC | Thaddeus Furlong, Esq.
Generally, no. Police must provide the owner or occupant of the premises a copy of the warrant. The police are also required to provide you a written inventory listing any seized property. If the police are in close pursuit (hot pursuit) then they may be allowed to chase after a suspect who fled into your home to hide.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 8/16/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    They are supposed to show you the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    If you have a case and police have searched your house, alleging they have a warrant or not, you should hire an attorney who will challenge the search in your criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    No. They have to show you a copy of the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    The Connelly Firm P.C.
    The Connelly Firm P.C. | Thomas Connelly
    The rules on search and seizure are complex, and there are some scenarios where a police officer is permitted to enter your home without showing a warrant. Generally, however, a police officer should produce a warrant before entering your home - whether it is a warrant to search your home, or arrest someone the police believe to be in your home. If you face charges stemming from this incident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If the police enter your dwelling without permission and without a warrant, they have to have a reasonable belief that the wanted person is within.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Search and seizure law is a complex issue. So the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. some of the factors or if the person they are searching for lived at that address, is they saw him enter the house and other factors. Contact an attorney in person with all the facts for the correct answer
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Depends, depends, depends. Typically the law allows the police to enter a residence without permission to search for a wanted person, IF the police have good reason to believe the person is housed there. If the warrant is a bench warrant or an arrest warrant, the police do nto need to show the owner of the house anything. If the person is a fugitive, and has multiple arrests, giving the same address each time, the answer is YES. Otherwise it depends.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    They have to have probable cause to believe the person is there and they eventually will have to show the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry If a person who committed a felony or is known to have a warrant is fleeing police and ducks into your home, the exigent circumstance may justify entry without a warrant. So a warrant is not always needed. If a person has a warrant out for them and the police enter the home to get the person, then there is no duty for the police to show the homeowner the warrant. However, if there is a warrant to search the home, then the police should show the warrant, leave a copy, and leave an inventory of anything seized. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    There are a few conditions where the police are permitted a warrantless entry. Sounds like the circumstance. If there was a warrant it seems unlikely the police would not show it but officers are permitted to exercise a warrant even if they are not in actual possession of the warrant. That is usually the case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    No, they are to show the warrant and allow the residence to read it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    They are supposed to but if there are exigent (emergency) circumstances that requirement can be delayed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    If they are chasing a fleeing suspect, they can come into your home. Otherwise, they should have a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    No. You should be shown the warrant and a copy of the warrant should be left with you or at the home.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Legally, the cops cannot enter home of A on arrest warrant for B [unless B lives there too]; they have to get a search warrant. But there is no remedy other than civil suit, unless they collected evidence against A on that illegal entry. Whenever a warrant does authorize something, it is no defense that the cops don't have it with them nor display or produce it, so long as it was in existence at the time of the liberty infringement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    They should produce warrant upon request. If you are charged with anything they found it should be able to be suppressed. You may also have a civil claim. I do not do civil claims so consult a civil lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police must have a valid search warrant signed by a judge in order to search a residence. They do not need to show it to you or to explain anything about the warrant. You should call an attorney anytime the police contact you in any manner.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    They are supposed to have a warrant to search anytime they enter a home.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    The law officers should show you warrant to avoid escalation of violence.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    The answer is no. The police do not have the legal authority to search your home without a valid warrant specifying the areas to be searched and the things to be seized. They must show you the warrant or their entry is illegal and anything they obtain as evidence is not admissible. There are exceptions, if they were called to the residence for a legal purpose and obtained evidence that was in plain view. When serving and arrest warrant they are allowed to search the area within the control of a suspect for weapons but they do not have the right to turn the house upside down once the defendant has been secured.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If it's just an arrest warrant versus a search warrant, and the police are just arresting the person not searching the premises, yes.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Probably yes, if they have an arrest warrant, rather than a search warrant, and have reason to believe the subject of the warrant is in the home.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    Whether or not they show you the warrant is not of much consequence. But (absent exigent circumstances) they cannot enter your home without consent or a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I think not. Unless it's an emergency or safety issue.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    From your brief facts, it seems not. However, if the person lives in the house the police may enter the home based on the warrant. They may also enter if they had a reason to suspect danger to a person or evidence. Consult a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    They do not have to show you the warrant. They do not have to leave you a copy of the warrant. They must leave a copy of the inventory of items they take from your home. If you were arrested, your lawyer can get a copy of the affidavit as well as the warrant. The warrant won't really say much - it is the affidavit that contains the information upon which the judge relied to sign the warrant to search. (If you were not arrested, the warrant and return are supposed to be filed with the criminal district clerk's office. I say supposed to because many times the cops just don't bother - and even when there is a case filed, they have to be told to file it repeatedly.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    It is not a requirement of a warrant to show the actual warrant to the person to be searched or the owner of the thing to be searched. It is only a requirement that the police have a valid warrant signed by a judge and describing the particular items to be seized and area to be searched. If the police do not show you a warrant, make sure there actually was a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    They are required to show it. That doesnt mean that they will, or sit idly while you read it. You and I are required to go no more than 55 on the highway right. Do you? The remedy is that if you are arrested because of something they find during the search, you may have grounds for motions. The proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Law Office of Jamie Balagia
    Law Office of Jamie Balagia | Will Mitchell
    No. Police must knock and announce their presence and provide the warrant so that you are aware of they are entitled to search and what they are searching for specifically. If you do not see a warrant, there's a good chance that there is no warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    If the police are searching a residence with a search warrant, they are to show the warrant to the resident. However, you appear to be referring to an arrest warrant which might not give the police the authority to enter a residence.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    There is no requirement that they actually show the warrant, but one sure better be in place before they take action. Sorry about any typos -
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Christopher Lee
    Any time the police desire to enter your house, they must have a warrant. However, there are exceptions to the warrant requirement. If police do announce their presence and they in fact have a warrant, the police are required to give a copy of the warrant to the homeowner.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Police are supposed to leave a copy of the warrant after they execute it.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    No, unless it is a no knock warrant, you have a right to see the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    The law requires that the police inform you of their authority and purpose when executing a search warrant. "Police, search warrant!" The law also requires police to leave a copy of the search warrant at the home. If they refuse to show you the warrant, it would be a technical violation of the law but not enough of a violation to provide you with a defense.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/13/2011
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