The Police Raided My Home. Was It Legal?
In Michigan, the police seem to have great deal of legal authority and ability to search a person’s home. It goes without saying that police have the right to search your home if they have applied and received a search warrant from a Judge. There are many ways to get a search warrant and police will often obtain one prior to raiding a home for medical marijuana. The most important thing needed to obtain a search warrant is probable cause that a crime is being committed or was committed.
However, police will use an abundance of tactics to get into your home so that they can obtain evidence even without a warrant. This is where your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures comes in. The police cannot do anything they want. Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, § 11 of the Michigan Constitution, individuals have the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures where they have an expectation of privacy.
What Are The Exceptions To Needing a Warrant To Get In Your Home?
Well one exception is when police have objective evidence that you are destroying evidence and have to break into your home to stop it. Another is when police believe that there is a medical emergency and need to break in to help a dying or injured person. A third exception is when police are pursuing a fleeing felon and they enter a home in pursuit. In that case, police are justified in entering the home. However, simply standing outside of a home and seeing evidence of a crime or smelling marijuana does not justify a police officer entering your home without a warrant. The police may use that evidence to obtain a warrant, but they are not allowed to break in without your permission for those reasons.