Very rarely can a police officer enter an individuals’ residence as it is considered private property unless one or more of the following grounds exists:
- The officer(s) who arrived at your home have obtained a search warrant from a judge that permits them to enter. If an officer knocks on your door and informs you that he or she has a search warrant, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) suggests that you ask them to either slide it under the door or place it in the window so you can confirm that they have obtained the document.
- The officers are “in hot pursuit of any person for any offense” [Source: Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute §8953].
Does that mean police officers won’t force their way into an individual’s home even when they haven’t obtained a search warrant or don’t have probable cause to do so? The sad but honest answer is no, there are police officers who go beyond the power their badge grants them and use it to violate the rights of others. So, what is a person to do after an officer in Allentown entered their home to conduct a search but didn’t have the grounds or documentation to legally do so?
They contact a police brutality attorney in Allentown, PA.
Although there are times where a police officer is immune to liability, a PA police brutality attorney can help you find a way to hold that officer accountable for their unjustified actions. Whether that is by filing a complaint, filing a lawsuit, or both, an attorney is going to know the best way to approach and handle the matter. The fact is, you have rights, despite what level of power a police officer has, and those rights should never be violated.
Understanding Your Fourth Amendment Rights
According to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it is stated that “[t]he 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” [Source: Cornell Law School]. Your home is not a public place and shall not be entered by a police officer unless he or she has the grounds to enter.
Now, something to keep in mind is that if an officer asked you if he or she could enter your home and you said yes, then technically, you consented to the search and it could be difficult to hold an officer liable for violating your rights. However, there are times where the police will coerce individuals into thinking they must let an officer into their home to conduct a search and in the case, then it would be in your best interest to speak with a police misconduct lawyer who can explain your rights.
The attorneys at Metzger & Kleiner, Attorneys at Law are among some of the most experienced lawyers in Allentown, PA and have the skills needed to represent someone who has been victimized by a police officer who forced their way into their home without the proper authorization to do so. If you would like to find out how this team of attorneys can help you combat the police misconduct you have been subjected to, contact them now at 610-435-7400.
Metzger & Kleiner, Attorneys at Law is located at:
137 North Fifth Street
Allentown, PA 18102