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If the police answer a call of a burglar alarm and find a door that is unlocked, can they enter to inspect the premises to make

East Ellijay, GA |

sure that there is no one is in the premise that should not be there and if they see contraband in the open, can they seize it and charge the resident,

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Attorney answers 6


The officers are responding to the alarm so yes they can go in the home. Next they can seize anything in plain view, and yes the resident can then be charged. Sorry.

Jonathan N. Portner, Esquire, Portner & Shure, P.A. Maryland and Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys. This response is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response should not be relied upon. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm


Typically, yes.


Responding to a burglar alarm is normally enough for entry. Plain site seizure is well established. The resident should constult an attorney.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.


If the police were responding to a burglar alarm, they have the right to come to the house, have a belief criminal activity is afoot, I would submit the alarm gave them the right to enter (like a 911 call) and thus the lawful right to do a "protective sweep" for the intruder. If they have the lawful right to be there, then any contraband they see in plain view is subject to seizure and potential arrest of it's owner. Get a good criminal defense lawyer in your area to review the facts and state applicable law on search and seizure.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..


Unlocked or open? Was there any sign of forced entry?

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Yes. I had a case just like this. Alarm goes off while client is attending a football game. The side door was ajar, and illegal drugs were found in plain view. Despite all attempts to suppress the evidence, the result was adverse to my client.

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