Whether you get pulled over or a police officer knocks on the door, Indiana has laws in place to ensure search and seizures only happen legally.
Although the state has laws in place, the process can still get complicated. Oftentimes, that may lead to questions about the laws and your rights as a citizen.
1. Can an officer search my car after a traffic stop?
Police officers may only pull you over for a legitimate traffic violation or if they reasonably suspect your involvement in a crime. Once stopped, a police officer does not have the right to start going through your vehicle unless you have consented to the search or they have probable cause.
2. Can an officer search my home without a warrant?
The same laws apply when at home. Even though the officer asks to come in, you do not have to give them permission to enter your home. To enter without your consent, they must have a court-ordered warrant to enter the premises, conduct a search and seize any potential evidence. If they do not have a warrant, you have no obligation to let them in.
3. What circumstances allow officers to enter without consent?
Law enforcement does have situations in which officers may enter a home without permission. An emergency situation tops that list. Officers can also enter if they believe something inside presents a danger to the public or can see illegal items in plain view.
Anyone who believes they experienced an illegal search and seizure may have the law on their side to dismiss that evidence.