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The community caretaking exception and warrantless home searches

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Many people don’t realize that the police don’t always need a search warrant to enter their home in Michigan. In some instances, they can enter it unauthorized due to the community caretaking exception. Here’s more information about it and how it affects you.

It should only be exercised in certain circumstances

A police officer can enter your home without a search warrant under certain circumstances. If they believe that they need to assist an individual or perform a welfare check, they can enter into a home without consent or permission from a court of law. For example, if an individual has an injury or is extremely sick and in need of medical care, a police officer can enter their home without a warrant. This often happens when someone doesn’t show up for work for a few days or a family member can’t get a hold of someone that they would normally be able to.

Individuals do have rights

Despite the fact that a police officer can enter someone’s home without having a search warrant in some circumstances, individuals still do have rights. They can’t just enter your home because they want to talk to you or because they want to arrest you for a minor crime. Some individuals end up contacting an attorney who has experience in criminal law after a police officer has entered their home without a warrant to do so.

While the community caretaking exception does allow police officers to enter an individual’s home without a warrant in some circumstances, citizens do have rights. If an individual feels that a police officer violated their rights by entering their home without a search warrant or their permission to do so, they may want to seek the assistance of an attorney.