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Q. “When can the police come into my home without a search warrant?” Ft Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer John Castellano tells it like it is — all you need to know about your rights!

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“When can the police come into my home without a search warrant?” I’m often asked. I’ve been a federal criminal lawyer and a Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer for over twenty (25) years now and the answer is almost always the same (regardless of the crime charged or type of case, whether a homicide, sexual battery, drug trafficking, theft) — They can enter your home without a search warrant whenever you give your “consent” or permission; and of course, this opens up the entire discussion to an analysis of whether or not you “legally” gave a true and “valid” “consent,” meaning that you “knowingly” and “intelligently,” “freely” and “voluntarily” consented AFTER first being advised of your right to refuse consent.

(You know that this almost never actually happens in real life, right? In my 25 years as a Florida federal criminal defense attorney and a Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer — forgetting for a moment all of my DUI defense cases a Florida DUI lawyer, I can say without equivocation that I have never seen or heard or experienced a true and valid “consent” given by any defendant in any “consent to search” case.)

Can you just visualize the police going out of their way to ensure that they tell you of your unadulterated right to refuse to consent to the warrantless search, and even if this statement is hurriedly made or mumbled, further ensuring that you “knowingly and intelligently, freely and voluntarily” “waive” your right to refuse consent … as you’re all the while surrounded by uniformed police officers with guns and badges. Would they do all this in real life? Would a person truly give a valid “consent” to a warrantless search under these circumstances, knowing that there is illegal contraband of sorts in the home? Or is it more likely that the homeowner (or renter) would cave, capitulate and “acquiesce to apparent authority,” which the Supreme Court has already said is NOT a valid “consent.”

The police are also allowed to enter your home without a warrant when they suspect that you or someone else within the home is about to be harmed (assuming, for example, that they were in fresh pursuit of a fleeing suspect felon who runs into your home) or if they suspect that your life (or the life of another within your home) is in danger. The Supreme Court has carved many “exceptions” into the famous “exclusionary rule,” such that the “rule” has essentially become the “exception.”(The “exclusionary rule” under Fourth Amendment analysis, “excludes” from “admissibility” any and all “evidence” that the police “seize” illegally, e.g., if the police obtain evidence from within your home, for example, after entering your home without a search warrant — assuming you didn’t “consent” to the search.)

Today, however, under the “good faith exception” to the otherwise applicable search warrant requirement, the police and prosecutors are allowed to use evidence they obtain without a warrant — and that evidence is now admissible in court against you, IF they acted “in good faith.” (Pursuant to New York v. Quarles, and its progeny)

They also have another “exception” called the “inevitable discovery exception,” allowing law enforcement to seize and use evidence IF it would have been “inevitably discovered” in any event. (Pursuant to Nix v. Williams, and it’s progeny)

Call me @ 954 766 8810 and I will answer any other questions you may have about your rights and all of the exceptions I just discussed, along with the new ones they’re unfortunately creating every week! 🙂 I am,

Always there for u and your family and friends,

John Castellano
Florida federal criminal defense attorney
Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer
Florida DUI lawyer

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About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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