Consenting To Police Searches in Oklahoma has certain very specific requirements. The United States Constitution and the Constitution of Oklahoma protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. Protections are different for homes and vehicles. Before you think about consent in the context of searches, you should have a basic understanding of search warrants and criminal law defense to illegal searches.
Police need to find probable cause to search a home. Probable cause is a belief based on facts that a person has or is about to commit a crime; Police must show that probable cause exists to obtain search warrants; they typically use a warrant for home searches.
Searches And Warrants
In some cases, consent to a search is not required. However, for searches of your home, police may need your consent to search unless they have a warrant.
Consenting To Home Searches With A Warrant
In most cases, police need a warrant to search your home. If they have a warrant, they can search your home whether you consent to it or not. With a warrant, the search is limited only to the items or people named in the search warrant. If the police want to search beyond what the warrant allows, they can do so if you consent to it. In other words, your consent matters if the police want to search for items or people not listed in the warrant. You can decline or allow the additional search.
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Consenting To Home Searches Without A Warrant
Police may search your home without a warrant if you allow them to do so. They can still come to your door and request your consent to a search. This kind of warrantless search is limited to items in the open. If the police want to search rooms or other areas not in plain view, they must ask you if they can search those places.
Sometimes people will consent to searches because of the police’s authority. However, remember that you have the option to decline or agree to the search. Any evidence gathered in a search without consent or independent probable cause could be thrown out of your court case.
Who May Consent To A Search Of Your Home
Consent becomes more complicated when someone other than you consents to the search. In most cases, people who have a legal right to the home can consent to a search in your absence. This includes spouses, roommates, and potentially children and houseguests. Consenting to Police searches is limited to common areas and spaces that the person can control.
Consent by someone other than you can be difficult to navigate. The best way to protect your rights and interests regarding searches is to hire a criminal defense attorney. Our experienced team at Kania Law Office will advocate for you in both felony and misdemeanor cases to achieve the best outcome for your case.
Protections For Vehicles
You have fewer protections to a search of your vehicle than you do for a search of your home. For vehicles, police only need facts to support a belief that someone in the car has or will commit a crime (probable cause). For example, if the police stop you on the road for speeding and smell alcohol on your breath, they may have probable cause to search your vehicle for hidden alcohol bottles. Your consent is not required.
If the police do not have probable cause to search your vehicle, they can ask for your consent, which you can give or not. If they search your vehicle without probable cause or your consent, your attorney may argue to have evidence found during the search thrown out if a judge agrees that evidence cannot be used against you in court.
Criminal Defense Attorneys In Tulsa
Kania Law Office is experienced in helping the accused defend against criminal charges. Consenting To Police Searches isn’t as clear as it might seem. Our attorneys understand how intimidating it can be to have your vehicle or home searched. It is essential to understand how issues like probable cause and consent can impact your case. If you have been charged with a crime in Oklahoma or need to seal a criminal record and need skilled representation, we are here to help. To learn more, call the criminal defense lawyers at Kania Law Office at (918) 743-2233 or contact us online.
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Are you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.