You may know that the police cannot search your home without your consent or a search warrant, except in very specific situations, but what about space you are occupying but is not technically yours? For example, can the police search a hotel room without a warrant? Keep reading to get answers to these and other questions about your rights in a hotel room. If you are accused of or charged with a crime, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Can Police Search a Hotel Room without a Warrant?
Generally speaking, no. However, there are a few exceptions. Note that the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees each person a right to be secure in their persons and homes against unreasonable search and seizure. Exceptions include circumstances in which the police believe deem to be an emergency.
This can include a situation that is putting the safety of police, property, or people in grave danger, there is a likelihood that the suspected criminal will escape, or evidence of a crime could be destroyed. Note that this still requires probable cause.
What Happens if Police Exceed Their Authority When Searching a Hotel Room?
In the event the police exceed their authority and illegally search a hotel room, the evidence many be suppressed or thrown out, the entire case could be dismissed, and the police could even be sued for damages. As you can see, it is in the interest of the police to act in accordance with the law.
Can a Hotel Employee Give Consent for a Police Officer to Search a Hotel Room without a Warrant?
No. The law considers a hotel room to be like a person’s home in that a warrant is required before the police can enter it. A hotel manager does not have the legal authority to let the police enter into the room of a guest, unless the guest left contraband in plain sight, left the room without paying, or violated hotel policy and was kicked out of their room.
What Do I Do If I Was Arrested in a Hotel Room?
The first step is to find an attorney. Look for an attorney who has experience with the specific type of charge you are facing. For example, if you are accused of grand larceny you would choose an attorney who specialized in theft crimes.
Once you have found an attorney you want to work with, contact them and request a free legal consultation Give them the basic facts of the situation, outline the evidence, and tell them your side of the story. They can then offer the best way forward. To contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell, call us at (949) 585-9055 right away.