When Can Law Enforcement Enter Your Home in Florida?
Recently, law enforcement entered a Coral Springs home that belonged to twin TikTok stars, Alex and Franky Venegas, known as the “Island Boys” on the social media platform. The police were not there for the Venegas brothers but rather, Andrew Thomas, who was staying at the home for a few days. Allegedly, Thomas was involved in a drive-by shooting a few days prior, and an 8-year-old girl was caught in the crossfire. She was immediately taken to hospital, but succumbed to her injuries and passed away.
It is unclear whether law enforcement had a warrant to enter the home to search for Thomas, or if there were other circumstances surrounding the search. Still, it is important that all Floridians know their rights when it comes to search and seizures, as law enforcement does not always uphold them.
A Search Warrant Allows Law Enforcement to Enter a Home
In many instances, law enforcement cannot enter someone’s home to conduct a search unless they have first obtained a search warrant from a judge. This is a right guaranteed to all Americans under the Fourth Amendment. When law enforcement wants to enter a home to make an arrest, as in the recent story, they must also obtain an arrest warrant.
Still, even when police have obtained a warrant, they are limited in scope. For example, when a judge has issued a search warrant, it will state the specific areas in which police can search, the items they are searching for, and the items they are allowed to seize.
Evidence of a Crime will Allow Law Enforcement to Enter a Home
There are times when law enforcement does not have to obtain a search warrant to enter a home. One of these is when they believe a crime is being committed inside. For example, if law enforcement saw someone with a gun climb through the window of a home and go inside, they could enter the home without a warrant. In this case, it would be reasonable to suspect a crime is being committed and so, police could enter the home to stop the crime and protect the public.
Consent Allows Law Enforcement to Enter a Home
Many people assume that when police arrive at the home, they must allow law enforcement to enter their home. This is not the case, especially when police do not have a warrant. If police are given consent to enter the home, they can do so even if they do not have a warrant. It is for this reason that it is so important that people know they are not required to give consent to law enforcement when they do not have a warrant. Without a warrant, consent, or reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed, law enforcement does not have the right to enter a home.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Orlando Can Challenge an Unlawful Search
If you have been charged with a crime after law enforcement searched your home, you may be able to challenge it on the grounds that it was illegal. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer knows how to challenge these searches and get important evidence against you thrown out. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.