The Police Raided My Home. Was It Legal?
In Michigan, the police seem to have great deal of legal authority and ability to search a person’s home. It goes without saying that police have the right to search your home if they have applied and received a search warrant from a Judge. There are many ways to get a search warrant and police will often obtain one prior to raiding a home for medical marijuana. The most important thing needed to obtain a search warrant is probable cause that a crime is being committed or was committed.
However, police will use an abundance of tactics to get into your home so that they can obtain evidence even without a warrant. This is where your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures comes in. The police cannot do anything they want. Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, § 11 of the Michigan Constitution, individuals have the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures where they have an expectation of privacy.
What Are The Exceptions To Needing a Warrant To Get In Your Home?
Well one exception is when police have objective evidence that you are destroying evidence and have to break into your home to stop it. Another is when police believe that there is a medical emergency and need to break in to help a dying or injured person. A third exception is when police are pursuing a fleeing felon and they enter a home in pursuit. In that case, police are justified in entering the home. However, simply standing outside of a home and seeing evidence of a crime or smelling marijuana does not justify a police officer entering your home without a warrant. The police may use that evidence to obtain a warrant, but they are not allowed to break in without your permission for those reasons.
Never Give The Police Entry Into Your Home Without A Warrant
To be honest, most raids occur because citizens simply cave to overzealous police tactics and let the police in their home. If you open the door for the police you are almost always going to have the police rush into your home and then you will be forced to fight the entry and subsequent search in court where police have extensive experience in coming up with reasons for why they entered and how exactly you let them in. This comes in to play in when what the legal community calls a “knock and talk” takes place. Police will snoop around your home and knock on the door until you cave and let them in. They will threaten you and convince you that your only option is to allow them in your home. Many times police will not have enough evidence to obtain a warrant against you, but will rely on the likelihood that they can convince you to let them in.
Here Is The Opinion From The Michigan Court of Appeals in 2001
Recently, our Supreme Court has decided to take up the question of whether police can employ this tactic in the dark at 5 in the morning and still have it be considered constitutional. However, as of now it is constitutional. As citizens, we all must remember that we have the right to ignore the police regardless of how much of disturbance they cause, regardless of what the police themselves say to those they are trying coerce, and regardless of the tactics they employ.
“We conclude that in the context of knock and talk the mere fact that the officers initiated contact with a citizen does not implicate constitutional protection. IT is unreasonable to think that simply because one is at home that they are free form having the police come to their house an initiate a conversation. The fact that the motive for the contact is an attempt to secure permission to conduct a search does not change that reason. We find nothing within a constitutional framework that would preclude the police form setting the process in motion by imitating contact and, consequently, we hold that the knock and talk tactic employed by the police is constitutional.”
Contact Our Marijuana Attorneys Today
If you have been raided, with our without a search warrant, you have rights. At the Clark Law Office, we have been helping clients protect their rights and secure dismissals when police and prosecutors have crossed the line. Give us a call at (517) 347-6900, we can help!