You may be savvy enough to realize that law enforcement officers have the legal right to lie to suspects during an investigation. For example, they can say they have hard evidence that incriminates you even if they have nothing.
However, police officers must generally be more careful about what they do and say when executing a search warrant. They risk harming the prosecution’s case if they violate your rights or break protocol during search procedures.
Below are two lies the police can’t tell you when they approach your home or other property for a search.
“We have a warrant” (when they don’t)
Law enforcement may not tell you they have a search warrant if they do not have one. That’s one reason you should always ask to see the warrant before you allow them in.
If they falsely claim to have a warrant, the court may disallow or suppress the evidence obtained in the unlawful search. In one criminal case, the court ruled that “consent based upon a false assertion” is invalid.
“We can look anywhere” (when they can’t)
Official search warrants typically specify what rooms the police can search and what items they may look for. If you ask the officers to clarify their search parameters, they cannot indicate they have the right to search everywhere and seize any other items when they do not. A wise legal team can challenge the improper execution of a warrant.
Unfortunately, those who do not understand the powers that law enforcement officers have and don’t have when searching homes or vehicles are vulnerable to unfair treatment. However, it may be possible to turn the mistakes of law enforcement personnel into a successful defense if you have experienced legal guidance.