Can a police officer enter someone’s residence and take a bong without having permission to enter?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2012

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Can a police officer enter someone’s residence and take a bong without having permission to enter?

Asked on September 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The U.S. Constitution provides the greatest amount of protection for the entry and search of homes.  Officers can only enter if they have the permission of the owner, permission of someone with apparent and/or reasonable authority, or with permission of the court with the requisite showing of probable cause.

This is a very general statement of the law... and naturally there are some exceptions.  One exception is known as the "hot pursuit" doctrine.   If the police are in pursuit of a criminal defendant and he runs into his home, the criminal defendant is not allowed to simply call "home base" and skip out.  They may enter to finish the hot pursuit.  Before deciding to contest a search, a defendant should visit with an attorney to see if any other exceptions apply to their situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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