Can the Police Force You to Leave Your Home in Utah?

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

The home is given a special reverence under the law of privacy rights. Almost all of the time, you have the right to enjoy the privacy of your own home without interference from the public or the government. However, if you have been accused of a criminal act, your rights in your home become somewhat curtailed. If you feel your rights have been violated by the police in your home, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced Salt Lake City illegal search and seizure attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC who can advise you of your options. Below, our lawyers guide you through a few situations where police may be able to force you out of your home in Utah.

Do I Have to Leave My Home if I Have Been Arrested in Utah?

Police can arrest you in one of two scenarios. First, if they have a valid arrest warrant, they can enforce it to place you under arrest at any time and place. This includes your home. They are required, however, to follow the “knock and announce” rule and give you a chance to open the door before they barge in to make the arrest. If you surrender at the door, they cannot enter your home and conduct a search unless they also have a search warrant. If you fail to surrender to police with a valid arrest warrant, they can enter your home and escort you out. If you are hiding, they will have the chance to search anywhere in the home you may be hiding and seize any potential evidence they come across.

Police can also make an arrest when they have probable cause based on the fact that they just saw you commit the crime, or when someone else provides them with evidence that you just committed the crime. You cannot outrun the police by entering your home. One of the few times the police may enter your home without a search warrant is during a “hot pursuit” chase to take you into custody. Again, once you use the home to hide from the authorities, anything they see in the home while pursuing you can be seized and used as evidence against you.

Do I Have to Leave My Home When a Protective Order Has Been Filed Against Me in Utah?

In cases of domestic violence, it is common for a judge to issue an emergency temporary protective order against the party alleged to have committed the domestic assault. As soon as you are served with such a protective order, you are required to stay away from the recipient and can no longer live in the same home. For example, if your wife calls the police and accuses you of beating her, and a judge issues a temporary protective order, you will have to leave your shared home and go somewhere else. The police will typically allow you to collect some things and then escort you out of the home if you refuse to leave on your own.

A temporary protective order can be extended into a final protective order if the judge finds good cause. This will occur at a hearing within 20 days of the issuing of the temporary protective order. If a final protective order is granted to someone you live with, you are going to be forced out of your home in most cases. It is imperative that you have an experience protective order hearing attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC to defend you at this hearing so we can fight to convince the court that an order forcing you out of your home should not be granted.

Where Do I Go While the Police Are Conducting a Search in Utah?

Most of the time, the police are required to have a search warrant in order to enter your home and conduct a search. As noted above, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as the hot pursuit exception that states that the police are permitted to follow you into your home if you are running away from them. Another exception is known as the plain view doctrine, which states that if the police see evidence of a crime in plain view, they can enter and seize it. For example, if the police see you bagging up cocaine through an open window, they can enter the home to seize the cocaine.

When a search is conducted based on a warrant, the police will have to follow the knock and announce rule described earlier in this piece. However, even if you answer, they will be permitted to enter the home and conduct a search once they show you the warrant. You may wish to stay in your home and watch the warrant be executed, but the police are permitted to ask you to step out of your home while they conduct their search. They are even permitted to handcuff you and detain you outside in their squad car to ensure “officer safety” while the search is being conducted. However, these rules have limits, and an experienced Utah search and seizure attorney can fight the way a warrant was executed if the police fail to follow proper procedure.

Contact Our Salt Lake City Illegal Search and Seizure Lawyers

You typically have the right to exist in your home unbothered by the police. Although there are times when this right is curtailed, the police sometimes go beyond the limits of what they are legally permitted to do in the expectation that you won’t fight back. At Overson Law, PLLC, our team of experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer is ready and able to challenge instances where the police entered your home and forced you to leave without proper justification. We can also defend you in court on any underlying criminal matters that may have resulted in the removal. If you have been told by the police that you must leave your home, call us today at (801) 758-2287 for a free consultation.


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