Another interesting case is being heard next week in the U.S. Supreme Court. On December 5th, the justices will hear oral arguments in a fourth amendment case, Messerschmidt v. Millender. The case concerns search warrants and immunity for a police officer who executes a warrant that later turns out to lack probable cause. Ms. Millender claims that Detective Messerschmidt should have never executed a warrant to search her home and take her legally possessed firearms because neither had anything to do with the crime being investigated. She claims that detectives should have only been looking for her son, who was wanted in connection with a crime involving a deadly weapon. Her son did not live at the residence.
It will be interesting to see what the court says regarding the matter but this also brings up a question regarding Arizona Criminal Defense Law – When do the police have the right to search your home in Arizona? Are police allowed to enter your home without your consent? In Arizona, the fourth amendment prohibits a police officer from entering your home without authority of law, which means a warrant. The only exceptions are if it is an emergency situation or if they have your consent.
So should you let officers in if they want to interview your son or daughter? What about if they want to search their room? You are well within your rights to ask to see a warrant. If the Arizona police officers are unable to do so, you may ask them to leave the property. It would be advisable at that time to contact an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney to learn more about your rights are if in fact they produce a warrant and come to your home again. In the case where the officers ask to interview your son or daughter, you may ask them to return at a later date or time when you, you child and your Arizona juvenile criminal defense attorney can be present. If you allow police to enter your home without a warrant, any contraband in plain site can be seized without a warrant and used as evidence in a Arizona criminal proceeding.
Don’t feel like you have to answer all of the officer’s questions but above all remain respectful and do your best to find out the background information on the investigation involving your child. Always remain calm and poised no matter if you decide to let the officers enter your home or not.
If you have any questions about the content of this blog or if you feel like your rights were violated in a situation involving search and seizure in Arizona, contact Arizona juvenile defense attorney and Arizona criminal law attorney, Charlie Naegle, for a free consultation where you will go over the facts of your case and your options. Call the Naegle Law Firm now at 602-663-9958 or use the webform below to request a free, anytime, anywhere consultation.