The general rule is that police need a search warrant or the homeowner’s consent to search a property for evidence of drugs, gun, or criminal activity. There are a few exceptions, however. There is one notable exception, and it’s called the hot pursuit doctrine. The hot pursuit is one of many types of cases known as exigent circumstances cases. An exigent circumstance is an emergency situation that gives the police a legal excuse to conduct a search or seizure when they don’t have the ability to get a search warrant in time. For instance, if the police were driving around a neighborhood and heard the sound of gun fire and shrieking from inside a home, they would have a legal right to enter the home and figure out what was going on. They would have probable cause, so they wouldn’t need to get a search warrant.
The hot pursuit doctrine is a special kind of doctrine, applying to a special circumstance. The circumstance is that the police are chasing after a suspect who they believe just engaged in a criminal act, and that suspect ran into an area where they don’t have a signed warrant to enter. However, because of the hot pursuit doctrine, they are able to keep following the suspect into the otherwise restricted space.
Even though this does allow the police to go into a property without the need for a search warrant, it may be curtailed in some instances. The number one protection granted to the people under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is privacy in their home. The law doesn’t allow the police to just disregard the 4th Amendment in every single instance where a suspect has run into a restricted property. If they are planning on just barging into anyone’s residence, the suspect needs to have committed a very serious crime.
In one case that wasn’t that serious, the police entered the home of someone because they saw a suspect smoking a joint outside. The police chased him into the home and tried to arrest him. When they were inside, they found an illegal gun. The Florida Supreme Court said that the police illegally entered the home.
A Miami criminal lawyer is the right person to call if you’re concerned whether the police had a right to search your property. An experienced Miami criminal attorney is going to know the specifics of the law, whereas you would be lost and might have been misled by the police. Just call a Miami criminal lawyer when you run into trouble, and it will help make the situation clearer to you. Any good Miami criminal defense firm is going to give you a complete overview of your case and tell you whether not the police had a right to search your home or not. Make sure you get in touch with top-rated Miami criminal defense lawyers though, because some lawyers are better than others.
We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions, (305) 615-1285.
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