When a person is subject to a police investigation in Ohio and the officers want to conduct a search, it can be difficult to know if they need a warrant. In recent years, these types of incidents have been a subject for debate. Understanding the limits under which officers are required to work when performing searches can be a fundamental part of a comprehensive criminal defense.
Supreme Court decision clarifies warrantless searches
A 2021 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court says that law enforcement is not legally allowed to enter a person’s home if they do not have a warrant and the investigation is for a minor violation. The specific case involved a complaint about a man who had been playing music loudly in his vehicle late at night. The man drove into his garage, and as the garage was closing, the officer used his foot to activate the garage’s sensor and reopen it. The officer went inside and arrested the man for the noise complaint. The officer also smelled alcohol and added driving under the influence to the charges.
According to the arrested man’s appeal, the officer did not have the right to enter the residence without a warrant. The Supreme Court decision states that officers can only enter for a good reason, like preventing evidence from being destroyed or stopping a suspect from escaping.
A defense lawyer may analyze the entire case
During a police investigation, it is common to be fearful. A suspect may be unsure as to what the officer can and cannot do. Questioning the evidence with the help of an attorney might be an effective way to lodge a defense under criminal law statutes.
If being arrested stems from a minor allegation with law enforcement failing to follow the proper procedures and violating a person’s rights during the investigation, this could open the door to combating the charges. Having professional assistance may help a defendant understand their rights and where police may have violated them.