Lebanon, PA asked in Civil Rights and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania

Q: Can a cop come on your property without your permission over an ordinance

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In most cases, a police officer cannot enter your property without your permission if they are only investigating a potential ordinance violation. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule:

1. If the officer has a valid search warrant, they can enter your property to investigate the matter, even without your consent.

2. If the violation is in plain view from a public space or an area where the officer has a legal right to be, they may be able to take action without entering your property.

3. In some jurisdictions, certain local ordinances (such as those related to public safety or health hazards) may grant officers more leeway to enter a property without permission.

4. If there are exigent circumstances, such as an imminent threat to public safety or the need to prevent the destruction of evidence, officers might be able to enter without a warrant or consent.

In general, if a police officer wants to enter your property to investigate an alleged ordinance violation, they should ask for your permission first. If you refuse, they would typically need to secure a warrant or have a valid reason for entering without your consent. If you believe that an officer has entered your property illegally, you should consult with a local attorney who specializes in civil rights or criminal defense.

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