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Do police have to show me a warrant before they can enter my home? 

In most circumstances, the Fourth Amendment requires that police obtain a search warrant or arrest warrant in order to enter your home without your permission or consent. But police may not be required to show you the actual piece of paper before entering your home.

If police enter your home, even by just an inch to "peek" around the corner, it may be considered a "search" for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. Under Utah law, if police do not have a warrant to search your home, evidence found by police during that search or as a result of other information found during the search can be suppressed.

If you are facing criminal charges in a case that involves a search of your home, it is vital that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation with Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard. Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard provides legal servises to clients throughout Utah.

Do I have to give consent to search my home?

If police ask for your consent to enter or search your home, you are free to say no. Police officers will often try to obtain consent to search, either to avoid the hassle of getting a warrant, or to perform a search when they do not have the probable cause necessary to get a judge to approve a search warrant.

Many attorneys will advise you to never give a police consent to search your home, your car, your person, or any property under your control. Even if you believe that there is no incriminating evidence to be found, there are still risks in giving police consent to search.

Some police may imply that you are somehow showing guilt by refusing their request for consent to search. But you are perfectly withing your consititutional rights to politely decline a police officer's request for consent to search.

Can I ask to see the warrant before I let the officers in my house?

If an officer comes to your home and claims to have a search warrant, you are free to ask to see a copy of the warrant. The officer may be willing to show you the warrant, but is not necessarily required to present a copy of the warrant for your review.  If the officer refuses to show you the warrant, you should not attempt to physically resist having the officer enter your home. Physical resistance could result in you being charged with assault against a police officer, interferring with an officer, disorderly conduct, or other charges.

The place to contest the validity or existence of a search warrant is not on your front porch. If you have concerns or questions regarding whether the police actually had a valid warrant, you should speak to an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. A motion to suppress filed with the court may result in an order from the judge prohibiting the prosecutor from using any of the evidence found as a result of an unconstitutional search.

There are a number of procedural steps and factual standards that a police officer must follow in order to obtain a valid search warrant in Utah. If the warrant fails to meet the necessary requirements, a Utah judge may suppress evidence obtained as a result of the flawed warrant.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

Salt Lake Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you are facing criminal charges in Utah, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has a track record of achieving real results for his clients.

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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