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Exceptions to a Warrantless Search

Under ideal circumstances an officer would never enter a premises or search a person or vehicle without a warrant. However, in reality this is impossible to always put into practice. Therefore, in what situations are warrantless searches allowed?

One of the first ways a warrantless search is granted is if an officer has already made a lawful arrest of the person in question. For example, if an officer saw a man in the act of stealing a wallet and arrested him, the officer could then lawfully search the man’s body for the wallet and any other evidence.

A second situation when a warrant is not required is under life saving circumstances or an exigent situation. If there is an immediate risk to the public or if there is a fear that evidence is going to be destroyed, an officer may forego a warrant in the interest of time. This also applies in the pursuit of a felon if the felon should run into a residence during the course of said pursuit.

Third, if a defendant gives consent, an officer may search a residence, vehicle or person without need of a warrant. However, care should be taken in this position as age must be considered. Children cannot give consent. Also, a person who may be impaired due to drugs or alcohol cannot legally give consent to a search. Along with voluntary consent, an object that is already in plain view that is believed to be evidence, may be obtained without the need of a warrant by the officer.

Fourth, any property found and turned over to police officers or any property abandoned, may be searched and kept until it can be returned to its rightful owner. Examples of this might include a jacket or a briefcase. This is known as the caretaker function.

Fifth, vehicles that are impounded can be searched and inventoried without need of obtaining a warrant. If incriminating evidence is found during the course of inventory and the officer has reason to believe it belongs to the owner of the vehicle an arrest can be made.

If a person is lawfully arrested while driving a car, then the officer may search the vehicle at that time. Or if an officer has reason to believe there are drugs, criminal evidence, or contraband in the vehicle, he may institute a search without a warrant. Again, this falls into a more case by case basis with a lot of room open to interpretation so care should be taken when exercising this action.

Finally, warrantless searches may also be carried out at the airport by security officers in regards to suitcases and people in order to ensure safety of all passengers. This includeds electronic devices like tablets and computers.

Knowing the rules regarding warrants is important information both for the general public and the law enforcement community. A better understanding of this law leads to better communication between all parties involved as well as less cases being dropped due to potential legal flaws within them.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

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"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

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