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Can Police Search My House for Marijuana in North Carolina?

The prospect of a police search can be quite daunting in North Carolina – especially if you are worried about potential marijuana charges. That being said, police officers may only enter your home under particular circumstances. If police officers violate the law as they enter and search your home, any subsequent criminal charges should be dropped. When exactly are police allowed to enter your home and search for marijuana in North Carolina?


Police Officers Must Obtain a Warrant Before Searching Your Home


If police have not yet obtained a valid search warrant, they cannot enter your home. If police request entry and they do not have a warrant, you can simply refuse to let them inside. They are not allowed to forcibly enter your home in this situation. If they do, they may face legal consequences themselves. More importantly, any evidence they uncover – including marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia – will be inadmissible as evidence. In other words, you cannot be charged with marijuana possession if police officers found the drugs after entering your home unlawfully and without a warrant. 


Keep in mind that police officers can take the necessary steps to obtain a warrant if they lack one. After you refuse them entry, it may only take them a few hours to obtain a warrant. At this point, you will have to allow them to enter your home. 


Police Can Search Your Home if You Give Them Permission


Police officers can search your home without a warrant if you give them permission to do so. Obviously, it is in your best interests not to give them consent. Refusing entry cannot be interpreted as a sign of guilt, and you are perfectly justified in protecting your personal property from the government. 


That being said, many police officers phrase requests for entry in ways that imply you have no choice. Often, these requests seem more like demands. For example, a police officer might tell you, “We’re going to need to look inside your home.” Alternatively, they might ask, “You don’t mind if we come in, do you?” These words give the impression that you must consent to the search. However, these are actually requests for entry – and you are under no obligation to comply.


What if Someone Else Lets the Police in?


Under the Fourth Amendment, your landlord cannot consent to a police search on your behalf. If they allow the police to enter your home without a warrant, this is still considered a breach of the Fourth Amendment. If you are sharing a home with others, a roommate may allow police to enter your home. However, officers are only allowed to access “communal areas” in this situation – such as kitchens or laundry rooms. They cannot access your personal area – such as a bedroom. 


Find a Qualified Marijuana Defense Lawyer in North Carolina


If you have been searching for a marijuana defense lawyer in North Carolina, look no further than Coastal South Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous marijuana defendants in the Tar Heel State – including those who have been subjected to unlawful searches. With our help, you can fight for your rights and mitigate potential criminal consequences. Book a consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy. 

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