What are my rights if police want to search my person, my car, or my house?
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution established the right of privacy for all citizens of this state and country. Generally speaking, the police may not legally search you, your car, or your house without a properly obtained search warrant specifically authorizing the persons or places to be searched.
There are many exceptions to the search warrant requirement. These exceptions are too numerous to answer in this forum. Generally, a police officer may legally search the outer layer of clothing of an individual to assure that an individual has no weapons or anything else which could threaten officer safety. Beyond this, a police officer, generally speaking, cannot without a warrant, legally search a person, a car, or a house without a warrant and/or the consent of the person or the owner of the property to be searched.
The Harris Law Firm’s advice is that individuals who are confronted by police officers should not give voluntary consent to search at any time. This does not mean that an individual confronted by the police should be rude, disrespectful, or belligerent. However, all citizens are entitled to insist upon their constitutional rights and one of those rights is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Check this Web site often for fourth amendment updates to learn the latest of when and where the police may legally search.