A Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Police Entry Without a Warrant 

If members of law enforcement knock on your door and ask to come in but don’t have a search warrant, you need to know what to do to protect your rights and not give them evidence they can use to arrest you. Our experienced Manassas criminal defense lawyers at The Wilson Law Firm are here to protect you, and we can use the police's violations of your constitutional rights to defend you.

When Can Virginia Police Enter Your Home Without a Warrant? Police at door of home perhaps without search warrant

One of Virginia residents' most fundamental protections under the Fourteenth Amendment is the prohibition of unlawful searches and seizures. The general rule is that the police officers require a search warrant under Virginia Code §19.2-59 to come into your house.

However, there are exceptions that you should be aware of:

  • You give your consent. Law enforcement may enter your home without a warrant if you willingly provide consent. It’s important to understand that you have the right to refuse consent. You should consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney before deciding whether to allow entry.
  • They’re in hot pursuit of someone. They have authorization to enter any residence without a warrant if they see the individual fleeing or entering your home. The pursuit must be ongoing, and the entry should be directly related to the pursuit of the suspect.
  • The police suspect a crime is in progress. For example, if they hear a gunshot or someone screaming for help when passing your house, they may be able to enter without having a search warrant.

Being informed about your rights is the first step in protecting yourself against unlawful searches. If you believe this happened without proper authorization, our experienced Manassas criminal defense lawyers are ready to defend your rights. 

We may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence unlawfully seized by the police without a search warrant. If the excluded evidence is crucial to the prosecutor's case against you, we may be able to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense through a plea bargain.