There are several categories that dictate whether or not a warrant is required. Many people seem to think that, no matter what, a warrant is required to search you or your property – but this is not always the case. If a search is deemed “reasonable,” then it is permitted. Sometimes, a search must take place right away and we will discuss these circumstances.
When a Warrant Isn’t Required
Felony Arrest in Public: Were you arrested in a public place for a felony crime? Perhaps you were threatening to shoot somebody and you have an illegal gun on you. If there is evidence that this may be the case, the police will be able to search you. Especially if you are in public, this is a necessity to protect others.
Lawful Arrest: If the police are making a lawful arrest, no warrant is required. The police are permitted to conduct a search to a person’s clothing and any other area in immediate reach in these cases. Officers are permitted to do this because the suspect could be carrying a weapon.
Reasonable Suspicion with Automobiles: If an officer believes that there is reasonable suspicion, they can search a vehicle’s interior, including the glove compartment. However, unless they believe that there is criminal activity, they cannot search the trunk.
Criminal Activity: If somebody has committed a crime and is afoot, an officer can make sure that the suspect does not have a weapon on them.
Exigent Circumstances: Exigent circumstance cases call upon an officer to review the circumstances and the gravity of the offense. Was the suspect trying to flee or escape? They could be searched, as this is suspicious behavior.
Certain Roadside Checkpoints: Sometimes, a warrantless seizure can occur at a fixed roadside checkpoint when it is one intercepting illegal aliens or drunk drivers.
Good Faith: If the officer was acting in good faith, a search or seizure can be conducted without a warrant. As long as a police officer was not using deception, the court could allow it.
You have many protections under the Fourth Amendment, but as you can see, there are many ways in which you could still be searched without a warrant. You must remember these reasons if you have been charged with a crime due to a warrantless search. Call us for more information on your case to find out what is permitted and what isn’t.