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United States Supreme Court Rules No Warrant Needed To Enter Home

Posted On: March 6, 2014 by Marc Neff

The Supreme Court recently ruled that police do not always need a warrant to search your property. As long as two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested, police may enter the residence.

This contradicts previous case law from 2006. Prior to this new decision, when there was a disagreement between two occupants about allowing officers to enter, the refusal by one party would have kept authorities from entering the home, without a search.

The majority of the Justices now say police need not take the time to get a magistrate’s approval before entering a home in such cases. The Majority opinion states, “We therefore hold that an occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason.” However, the dissenting Justices warned that the decision would erode protections against warrantless home searches. The court had previously held that such protections were at the “very core” of the 4th Amendment and its ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.


All persons charged with crimes are entitled to the protections afforded by the United States Constitution and the rules of evidence in a criminal court of law. An experienced criminal defense attorney helps to ensure that a defendant’s rights are protected before, during and after a trial. If you have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. For a confidential consultation, contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff at (215) 563-9800 or via email at marc@nefflawoffices.com.

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes