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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Default What Happens if the Police Search Your Home With a Warrant for a Housemate

    If you share a home and the police search your home based upon a search warrant that was issued due to the actions of your housemate, what are your rights? Can the police search your room? Can they go through your computer? If you have a safe, can they look inside?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: What Happens if the Police Search Your Home With a Warrant for a Housemate

    In terms of the warrant itself, if it is for the entire home then the police are not likely to limit their search even if you object. They may limit their search if you can show that you had a private room that was off-limits to your housemate, and if you're lucky the warrant will limit itself to spaces used or controlled by your housemate.

    Depending upon the full facts you may be able to later seek suppression of items taken from your private areas, if the police lacked probable cause to enter those areas and they were off-limits to your housemate; but if they see contraband in plain view they are entitled to seize it even if it is in your private space. If you have a cocaine-covered mirror on your bed, and the police see it through the open door of your room, you should expect that a court will allow it to be used as evidence against you in court. Also, even if the property is yours, the police are going to be able to search common areas (such as a shared kitchen, living room or bathroom) and seize evidence and contraband found in those areas.

    The big issue is that you don't want to be on the defensive. If you believe that your roommate is engaged in criminal activity that could bring the police into your home with a search warrant, you should consider finding a way to get your roommate to move out. If you don't want to do that, or if you are concerned about what might happen during the time it takes to evict a housemate, it is best to make sure that you, personally, don't have any unlawful items or evidence of your own criminal activity in the home.

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