Most people know that the police need a warrant to enter their home but they are not sure why. It is their constitutional right to privacy in their home. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution is in the Bill of Rights. It states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In fact, ironically enough as I was typing this a client called me and the client's house was being searched by police. My first question was, "Did the police show you a warrant?"
You know you have a right to privacy in your home but where else can you expect privacy? A recent Star Tribune article talked about the right to privacy as an overnight guest in someone's home. While staying in another person's home one can expect privacy and therefore tell the police "no" you can't search the residence on behalf of the homeowner while staying there.
The article also addressed another interesting case in which I was lucky enough to observe being argued in front of the Supreme Court. That case has a twist. The police officer witnessed drug activity in a home by peering through a window. The person performing the drug activity was not an overnight guest or a homeowner and therefore had no privacy right.
Staying overnight in a hotel? You have a right to privacy and the police will need a warrant. However, once checkout time comes all bets are off and your right to privacy arguably ends as the hotel (or motel as most of us are used to staying in) once again regains their legal right to occupy the room.
Of course there are exceptions to the warrant rule. We will discuss those next time. Until then, remember your rights and remain respectfully silent.
This blog is for information purposes only. For a free consultation contact Casanova Criminal Defense, LLC at 612-968-1278.