Can Police Search My House Or Car?
Unfortunately, far too often, people get fooled into allowing police to search their home or vehicle for evidence against them. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unlawful search and seizure and gives you the legal right to decline a search by police.
At the Law Offices of Charles T. Ganz in Houston, I am here to help you understand these rights. You should never just allow an officer to search your property without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Generally, Texas police have three lawful ways they can search your property for drugs or other evidence.
- Consent: If you allow police to enter your home or car, they can use anything they find against you in court. This is why you should always respectfully decline a search.
- Probable cause: If an officer has considerable reason to believe you are breaking the law, he or she may search your property for proof to support those reasons. This has to be more than simply a hunch. For example, if an officer smells marijuana in your car, he or she has the authority to search your vehicle.
- Warrant: This is the most official way a police officer can gain access to your home or car, but it’s also the most time-consuming for the officer. With an official warrant, there is little you can do to keep law enforcement out of your belongings.
Why Do You Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Sometimes, police may search your property unlawfully by bypassing these methods. They may search first and come up with reasons later or perhaps mislead a citizen about their probable cause. The only way to ensure that you are treated fairly and police are following the law is by consulting with an attorney who can thoroughly evaluate your case.
Even better, if my firm finds that police have unlawfully searched you, any evidence obtained from that search cannot be used against you. This may result in charges being dropped altogether.