Can the police search your house based off of a person saying that you have something illegal in it?

Asked over 1 year ago - Erie, PA

A car was being searched due to a attempted drug sale. Three people were in the car and they found a small amount of heroin. The driver, which is a user, had paraphernalia on her person and when she got arrested she told the police that the other two people who were in the car were drug dealers and told the police where they lived. The police searched their residence and found illegal possessions. Is it legal for the police to search their house based off a scared, user's statement??

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Robert C. Keller

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . If a search warrant was issued, an experienced criminal defense attorney may file a motion to suppress the evidence. The issue is whether probable cause to issue the warrant.

  2. William A. Jones Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Your connection and interest in the subject matter is not revealed, so I can't begin to judge the extent to which you do or might have accurate information about what your speak. The short answer to the initial question is YES. Most search warrants for residences are based upon information from other people with "inside" information about the premises, sometimes on the word of a single CI. Your post makes it appear that the police searched the house on the word of one of the three occupants of the vehicle without the benefit of a search warrant. Unless they also obtained consent to search from the residents then such a search without a warrant would be blatantly unconstitutional. Whoever has had criminal charges filed against them as a result of the incident you describe need to engage the services of a good criminal defense attorney with significant experience in drug defense. Not much else I can say at this point other than to caution you not to post additional details about this matter on the Internet. A private conversation with qualified counsel is the next step and it should be undertaken without delay.

  3. Kamala Maddipoti

    Contributor Level 8

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I think you need to see a Criminal Defense Attorney. But, if the warrant is valid, then the search will be valid one. You may need to see an Attorney to question the validity of a warrant.

    DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only. It doesn't constitute legal advice. This answer doesn't... more
  4. William Ray Pelger

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Great question! Search and seizure law is complicated and tricky. We defense attorneys start with the premise that every serach of a dwelling must be done by warrant. This is what the PA and US Constitutions say. However, there are many exceptions and the law is always changing. In your scnenario it comes down to how reliable was the source of the information (the user who was arrested) and how reliable was it that after her information was given, drugs would be found. I don't know all the facts but i think you should get a an attorney there who is good with suppression/search and seizure law to look closely at the facts. From this limited information it sounds like the search could be challenged. Make sure you have an attorney at your prliminary hearing and have the testimony recorded.

  5. John Paul Thygerson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If they have a warrant.

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