Can You Refuse to Be Searched by Police in Arizona?
In various instances, you may have law enforcement ringing your doorbell. Maybe someone in your household called them. Or maybe the neighbors complained of loud noises and disturbances. At a point, the officers may ask if they can come in and have a look around. If you say “yes” you are actually giving permission to the police to search your home. Whatever they find, they may seize and use as evidence against you.
The number one advice from any criminal defense AZ law attorney is this: never allow the police to search your home without a warrant. Do not let yourself intimidated by anything the officers may say. The law is on your side, as we will show in this article.
What Arizona Law States on the Right to Refuse a Home Search without a Warrant
Every citizen of the state of Arizona has the right to enjoy home life in peace and undisturbed. This concept is enshrined in the Arizona State Constitution Article II Section 8 – Right to Privacy.
Moreover, the Public Defense Services inform the citizens in the section Warrants and Your Rights that if police officers are at your home and want to enter without a warrant, you should say no. The document also tells you that any form of consent means relinquishing your constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment.
Also, a recent ruling by Arizona Supreme Court in the State v. Wilson case has limited the right of the police to perform warrantless home searches on the grounds of “Community Caretaking Exception”.
Did Police Come to Your Home? Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer!
So far, you have learned what you should not do if police comes at your door. What, then, should you do? First of all, ask for the reason why the law enforcement officers want to talk to you. Once you know, inform them that you are ready to answer any questions they may have only with a criminal defense AZ law attorney present.
For any person, being faced with an investigation or questioning by the police is a shock. No matter how self-possessed you are, you may be easily tricked into say something damaging to your case, whatever it may be. An experienced criminal defense AZ law attorney is trained by years of assisting clients in interactions with the police and in the courtroom. They can sense a leading question or misleading language that leaves your answer open to interpretations. Your lawyer will advise you when to answer a question, and when to refuse giving an answer.
What Happens when the Police Gets a Warrant?
If a judge found probable cause and issued a search warrant, you are obliged to allow police officers to search your home. The probable cause, according to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3912 are:
- Stolen or embezzled property
- Items used to commit a public offense
- Property or items that you have the intent to use in committing an offense
- Property or items that represent evidence that you committed an offense
- Property or items that need to be inspected by an official in the interests of public health, safety or welfare
- You are the subject of an arrest warrant.
Hire a Skilled Criminal Defense AZ Law Attorney!
Whatever the reason for having your home searched by police may be, you need professional legal representation. An experienced criminal defense AZ law attorney can establish whether the search warrant is validly issued, or whether the police obtained evidence against you during an invalid search. Such evidence is inadmissible during a trial.
You have the right to defend yourself in the best manner possible – so hire a skilled attorney who can prepare the best defense in your case!