Delivering Aggressive, Professional And Effective Legal Representation

Understanding Warrantless Searches and Arrests in Florida

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Have you ever wondered if every search or arrest requires a warrant in Florida? In this article, I will discuss the exceptions under Florida law that allow police officers to arrest someone or search their property without a warrant. Additionally, I will explain what you can do if you think you have been wrongfully searched or arrested.

What is a Search Warrant, and What Does it Authorize?

A search warrant authorizes law enforcement officials to search for evidence in a specific location where they believe a crime is or has been committed. To obtain a warrant, the police must file a written affidavit to a judge showing probable cause for the search. If the judge signs the warrant, the police can begin their search. The warrant must reasonably the places to be searched and things to be seized, so it is essential to read it carefully if presented with one.

Are There Exceptions to Warrant Requirements for Searches?

Generally, law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before searching your home or property. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you give police permission to search your home, they may do so without a warrant. Additionally, searching a vehicle has more lenient warrant requirements because of the lower expectation of privacy. Police can also conduct a warrantless search if the evidence is in plain view or if there is an emergency. After an arrest, police may search the person and the immediate surrounding area without a warrant.

When Can Law Enforcement Make Warrantless Arrests?

In Florida, most situations requiring an arrest will require a warrant unless the crime was committed in the presence of an officer. However, Florida law outlines exceptions to this rule. Law enforcement officers may make a warrantless arrest for several misdemeanors and felonies under certain circumstances, including assault, battery, domestic violence, drug crimes, and stalking. Additionally, warrantless arrests are permitted after violating probation, a traffic crash, or a misdemeanor DUI.

If you believe you have been the victim of an illegal search or arrest, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to understand your rights and legal options. Understanding the rules and exceptions surrounding warrantless searches and arrests in Florida can help you protect your rights and stay informed.