What Are the Laws Surrounding Home Searches by Police?

What Are the Laws Surrounding Home Searches by Police?

Law enforcement officers may ask to perform a home search if they suspect there is evidence within the home that is related to a crime, or if they suspect that a crime has been or is being committed in the home. What rights do you have to refuse a search of your home? Here’s what you should know. 

Who Has the Right to Consent to a Home Search 

Very few people have the legal right to consent for a home search to be performed, such as: 

The Homeowner or Property Renter 

If you own or rent the home the police are intending to search, you may legally consent to it. That said, this isn’t necessarily a wise choice since any evidence obtained can be used against you. 

A Resident of the Home 

If there are adult residents who also live in the home, such as your partner or spouse, they may also provide legal consent to police officers who wish to search your domicile if you are not available. 

Older Children

Police officers who wish to enter a home may ask an older child for consent to do so if they believe the child is of age and cognitive ability to understand the matter at hand and agree to let them in. 


Roommates are also able to provide consent for law enforcement to perform a legal search of a domicile, however, they may not consent for all spaces within that domicile. For example, a roommate of yours may allow shared spaces like the kitchen and living room to be searched, as well as their own bedroom, but they cannot provide legal consent for police to search your private space or the private space of other roommates. 

Who May Not Consent to a Home Search 

Anyone not listed above may not give legal consent to the search of a domicile. They may consent and the police may search, however, that doesn’t mean that it’s legal or that any evidence found can be used against you. Among those who cannot consent to a search of your home include: 

  • Young children. 
  • Landlords. 
  • Maintenance or housekeeping. 

Arrested After a Home Search? Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Now 

Don’t wait to get legal help after being arrested following a police search of your domicile. Your future, reputation, and criminal record are on the line. 

Call Britt Criminal Defense today for more information or to book your consultation at 443-944-5705.