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When Can the Police Legally Enter Your Home?

Though police have a certain social authority in general, there are only specific circumstances in which it is legal for police to enter your home or property.  Below are some of the circumstances in which police can legally enter your home:

Entering Your Home with Your Permission

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It may be evident that police can enter and search your home if they are given permission to do so by an adult.  If police would like to enter your home and you do not wish them to enter, the only circumstances they would be allowed to enter anyways would be if they had a warrant or if they had a concrete reason or tangible evidence that a dangerous crime was occurring in your house at that exact moment.  If the police do enter your house with your permission, you have the right to ask them to leave at any time if they do not have a search warrant.

Entering with a Warrant

If the police have a search warrant or an arrest warrant, they can enter your home and search your home at any time.

What Is a Warrant?

A warrant is a legal document signed by a judge that states a legal requirement for someone who is to be arrested or a location searched.  If allows the police the power to enter and search your home even if you do not want them to or are not home.  Impeding a warranted search or arrest will likely result in a charge of obstructing the police in their duty.

What is a Search Warrant?

A search warrant gives the police the right to enter a home and search for things listed in the warrant.  If the police search for and find these things, they have the right to confiscate them.  Police cannot destroy things unnecessarily, and they can only search in places the warrant dictates the objects might be found, i.e. if they are looking for a stolen television they cannot look inside the drawer in your nightstand. Once they have found what they are looking for they must leave.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant gives the police the power to enter a home and arrest the person whose name is on the warrant.  With this warrant police also have limited ability to search a home – if an arrest is made in a home, police generally have the right to search the immediate area.

Entering in Emergencies

The police are obliged to enter your house in the case of certain types of emergencies.  There are three special extenuated circumstances that allow police to enter your home on the grounds of an emergency.

  • Police can enter your home to follow someone who has just committed an offence, or if they believe the person in question is about to commit an offence.
  • Police can enter your home if they believe someone inside is about to hurt another person.
  • Police can enter your home to give emergency help to someone inside; i.e. if someone needs first aid.

Generally speaking, just because the police have the power to enter your home does not mean they have the power to search your home.  However, if there is evidence of a crime in plain sight or anything illegal in plain sight they have the power to seize it.

If you have a criminal record in Canada, obtaining a pardon can greatly help with the process of re-integrating into society.

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  • James Dennie

    Toronto Police Cost A 5 Year Old Child 40 Years of Life For other Men’s Life of Crime’s From 1979 to 2018 and Again From 1975 To 2018 Howard Baldy Chard The Boxer and son How Could They Have missed The Dipper on A 14 Month Old .

    • James Dennie

      Toronto Police Followed A 5 year old Child for the Last 40 Year’s when They Where Looking For A 19 year Old Male on A Moter Bike who They Did Not Follow Once Since 1975 To 1979 and Now 2018 . They Broke That 5 Year old Legs as AN Adult in 2010 .They Never even Knew That Child Born in 1973 . They Followed Him To A New Town They walked in and out of His New Place and with Public Too . No Legl Grounds No Rights of any Kind for A Hole Year They Dressed up A Toronto Police officer as A Sudbury Police officer . WHY ? . Only Case was James Dennie Kid Napped Case and he was the one kid Napped in 1976 . Re Kid Napped Again after Being Found in 1978 .

      • James Dennie

        Been Trying To Find A Lawyer That Deals With A Child’s Case as An Adult Who Was Wronged By Toronto Police as A Child . Paying for Other Adult’s Life of Crime’s . Been To A Few Not One Would Help or Send Me to The Right Place to Help . Been Going on Now the last 40 years 7 24 now I’am only 5’6 Tall They where Looking for Men over 6 Feet Tall in 1975 an 1979 case’s Nothing To Do with A Child but some how The Child Paid BY Police .