Can the cops enter your home without a warrant if you refuse to let them in?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2012

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Can the cops enter your home without a warrant if you refuse to let them in?

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Criminal Law, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the particular facts whether or not the police can enter without a warrant.

For example, if the police are in hot pursuit chasing a suspect who may have entered your house, the police could enter without a warrant and search the premises.

Another example would be the police searching your house incident to an arrest.  They arrest someone at your house or on your property outside your house.

Another example would be if the police spotted contraband in plain view such as drug paraphernalia sitting next to a window, they could enter without a warrant because by the time they got a search warrant and returned the contraband may be gone.

Another example would be exigent circumstances.  This would be an emergency situation where the police have a reasonable belief that there is something in your house that may endanger the police or members of the public such as explosives.  They could enter without a warrant because by the time they left and returned with a search warrant, the explosives or some other dangerous item may have caused an injury or otherwise endangered the safety of others.

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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