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Can Police Search a Residence Without a Warrant?

Probable Cause

If an officer has probable cause to believe drugs are in a home, he must obtain a search warrant before entering the home, with some exceptions.

Exigent Circumstances

For example, a warrantless search of a home may be legal if the officer has probable cause to arrest and exigent circumstances exist such as an emergency that justifies the immediate search without a warrant. This situation may arise when the officers must search to prevent the escape of the arrestee, avoid a violent confrontation, avoid the destruction of evidence, or protect another person.  However, the smell of marijuana alone is no longer sufficient to support probable cause to search a home without a warrant. 


Hot Pursuit

If the officers are in “hot pursuit” of an offender, the officers may follow him into a residence without a warrant to make an arrest. While in the residence, the officers may search for hidden offenders and immediately accessible areas where weapons could be found. The officer may also retrieve evidence in plain view, such as drugs on the coffee table.


Consent to Search

Officers can also search residences without a valid warrant if the resident gives consent. Officers may go to a house where a suspect is residing and perform a “knock and talk.” The officer will knock on the door and begin a conversation with a resident. The officer will then ask for permission to enter and search. The officer may even claim that he smelled marijuana saw it while looking in. Therefore, leading to a valid warrantless search.

We have decided to pen this down to allow you to know what the laws say concerning the powers that the Police have in Louisiana. If you feel that your right has been violated, and your house was searched without cause or warrant, you can contact a drug attorney in Baton Rouge immediately.  More importantly, if you belive you have a poor case, contact us to try to work a deal for you to mitigate your exposure.

Evidence Thrown Out

If your house was searched illegally, the drugs that were allegedly found in your home might not be used as evidence in the court, depending on how they were obtained.

Though the Police is given the power to maintain the law of society, there are some constraints put in place by the law to ensure that the Police don’t harass people. This is one reason you should know your rights, as enshrined by the constitution. If you have doubts on what your rights are, you should consider talking to a criminal attorney in Baton Rouge.

When a police officer, an overzealous one, tries to invade your privacy without the needed search warrant, you have the right to get a drug attorney in Louisiana that can help you.

Why You Need A Drug Attorney in Louisiana

There are some cases that drugs would be obtained from your house, and it may not be able to be used as evidence against you in a drug charge case because it was obtained in an illegal manner.  An defense attorney can see if everything was done in a legal manner. He can look at every procedure in the case to see if anything was done correctly. If not, it could be used to your advantage. Apart from that, he or she also looks for evidence and witness strengths and weaknesses that can be used in your advantage. . Contact a good drug charge attorney in Louisiana regardless of how strong you think your case is. We can help no matter what.

If you need a drug charge attorney for your drug charge in Louisiana, contact us.  We handle drug charges anywhere in Louisiana.

Answers to Drug Charge Questions

Carl Barkemeyer wrote the published book titled How to Defend Drug Charges in Louisiana. He regularly gives lectures and advice to other attorneys regarding how to successfully defend clients for drug possession and distribution.

Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, Monroe, Lake Charles and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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