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Can your roommate invite the police in your shared space?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

You live in an apartment with a roommate, which is a pretty common living arrangement. Having someone else with access to your home means more risk for people you don’t want coming inside to do so.

If the police have been arrested recently, you may worry about whether it was legal for law enforcement officers to legally search your home when you weren’t there to consent but your roommate was.

What kind of search can your roommate consent to?

One of the easiest ways for police officers to search your home is to get you or someone else to give permission. Many people think that letting the police inside is both necessary and polite.

If anyone who lives there gives permission for a search, the police could find something in the common areas that gives them an excuse to keep searching. Even if you don’t want to let the police inside, your roommate could allow them entry into your shared apartment.

If your roommate gives consent to a search, the police cannot conduct a search of your private spaces without consent or probable cause. You have a right to object to them allowing the police inside, but only if you are home when the police arrive. Depending on what they find during their search, you could face charges when a roommate lets law enforcement into your home.

Sometimes, the way that police gain access to your apartment is illegal and could give you grounds to challenge the inclusion of any evidence that they found. Understanding your rights when dealing with the police can help you plan for your criminal defense as well. It’s crucial to seek legal guidance and make sure that any potential illegal behavior by law enforcement is brought to the attention of the court.