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    Speak Up! - View Question #361

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    Question: If I am throwing a party with about 50 or more people, and there is alcohol and drugs being used, and the neighbors call the police complaining about the noise, do the Police have the right to a)enter my house b)break up the party? How does the situation change if the Police do not know that there are Drugs/Alcohol being consumed. Do I have the right to refuse the Police entry to my home without a search warrant?


    The complaint about the noise, and all of the cars and people, will most likely give the police officers reasonable suspicion to come to your house and knock on your door to investigate the complaint. However, and with some exceptions, an officer cannot force his way into your home without your consent. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: The right of 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.

    This section of the Constitution provides that you are secure in your home unless the police obtain a search warrant from a court, where the police will have to show that they have 'probable cause' to search your house. If the police come to your home with a search warrant, then they can force their way into your house. Courts have also approved entering a home without a warrant where they have a reasonable belief that some evidence will be immediately destroyed unless they enter or someone will be in danger. This might happen where the police saw a bank robber drive from the bank he robbed to his house or if there appeared to be an emergency where someone was hurt. Then a court might find that the police were justified in forcing their way into the house without a warrant.

    If you did not allow the officers to search the house, they could obtain a search warrant to search the house without your consent.

    1 thru 5 of 10 comments    [ 1 ]  2    
    On 06/27/07
    Bob from TX said:

    "After all, anyone who is resisting a search obviously has something to hide." Fallacy: Begging the Question Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed (either directly or indirectly).  Possible Fallacy: Post Hoc 1 A occurs before B. 2 Therefore A is the cause of B. Logic is the language of law, learn it if your worried. Cheers

    On 03/10/06
    donna from AL said:
    we had a party one night and less than 25 people were there. some were of age and some werent. i admit the music was a bit loud but we werent running through the halls or causing any other trouble. the police came and i answered the door. they asked is anyone under age, i didnt answer and they cuffed me and let themselves in. can they do this? they cuff me if i dont say anything. i thought in the u.s.a. you have the right to remain silent. i guess not in this case. they we rude and we were trying nicely to get answers from them as to why they were letting themselves in. they woudnt answer us
    On 06/14/05
    Rose from AZ said:
    It's funny how the law automatically assumes that because we are juveniles illegal activities must be occuring. An officer would never think that because there are a large number of adults (or little kids) at a party that they may be using marijuana where as a large group of teenagers immediately recieves that response. Here's the thing about officers being allowed to use "past knowledge," knowledge is influenced by biases and stories as much as experiance.
    On 06/11/04
    Rick from AZ said:
    Just because you tell an officer "No" to a search does not mean you have something to hide. For example, I was a designated driver, I had a car full of my drunk friends and they were being obnoxious and it was hard to keep an eye on all of them and the road at the same time. Anyways, cop saw me swerving a little bit and pulled me over. Smelled alcohol in the car (of course.. I had drunk people in the car) and asked if he could search it. I told him no, I had nothing to hide, but in my mind he didn't have a reason to search my car.
    On 03/10/04
    hellboy from CA said:
    Officers use their "experience" all the time. I have never seen an officer NOT suspect drug/alcohol use ever, even when the noise complaint was about 30 kids at 9:45 at night! LAND OF THE FREEE? WOOOHOOO!!!
    1 thru 5 of 10 comments    [ 1 ]  2    

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