Police Searches in Montgomery County
When someone is being investigated for a criminal offense, it is likely that local law enforcement officials will try to search their home and vehicle. If they do, it is imperative that people know their rights when it comes to dealing with police searches. A Montgomery County criminal lawyer will be able to provide insight into how people should handle such incidents in addition to helping people throughout the process of their criminal case. For more information, call today to schedule an initial consultation.
Consenting to Police Searches in Montgomery County
You have an absolute right not to consent to having your vehicle searched and it is not bad to deny the officer consent, particularly if you know or believe that there might be something incriminating in your vehicle. An officer will not tell you that you have the right to refuse the search. In fact, officers are not under that obligation and often on purpose do not tell you that, because so many people are unaware of it. People often consent to a search even though they have a right to say no. Contact an experienced Montgomery County criminal attorney to learn more about how you can protect yourself from unlawful searches as provided by the Fourth Amendment.
Different Types of Searches
- A personal search is a search of an actual person. They might pat you down, potentially going into your pockets and looking for something to use as evidence against you.
- A vehicle search is a search of the car where the officer is trying to find something that might lead to criminal charges against you.
- Then there is a home search, which is a search of actual premises where somebody might reside, where an officer comes in and tries to find evidence against you in your home.
Montgomery County Search Warrants
Montgomery County police officers often need a warrant to conduct a search, unless there are what they call exigent circumstances. A warrant simply is a search warrant which a judge signs after they are presented with probable cause to search a particular premises or person. They will usually have to show you part of the warrant to gain access to your home or your vehicle, or your person if in fact they have a signed warrant. Another option is that they can get a consent search, which is to simply ask you if they can search and you give them consent. That is as good as a warrant for searching your premises, your vehicle or your person.
Types of Warrants
In most circumstances, there would be a search warrant needed if they were going to search, unless they had consent from the person who they are conducting the search on. Other circumstances allow officers to search even without a warrant. For example, if they believe that evidence is about to be destroyed, that would be a justifiable reason to search without a warrant. They could also detain you if you decide to deny them access to a particular location. Then they send another party out to get a warrant and have you in detention while they are getting it. This usually happens when there is a concern for destruction of evidence. In either instance, a defense lawyer in Montgomery County can protect you from any injustices you might receive at the hands of local law enforcement officials.