Can You Be Arrested in Your Own Home in New Jersey?

The power to arrest is one of the most significant powers of law enforcement, although it is not without limitation. Under certain circumstances, you can even be arrested in your own home.

Generally, the police need an arrest warrant to take you into custody no matter where you are. The warrant allows the police to enter your home and arrest you if you are at home. However, there are exceptions to the warrant rule, and a warrantless arrest in your home is also possible. If the police do not have a warrant and there are no exceptions to the warrant rule that the police can claim, they cannot come into your home to take you into custody. If you believe law enforcement officials arrested you illegally, we can work to get you released from custody.

If you believe the police might come to your home with an arrest warrant sometime soon, call our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys for help immediately. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (609) 257-4019 to schedule a free case review.

When You Can Be Arrested in Your Own Home in New Jersey

You are not shielded from arrest just because you are in your home. If that were the case, every wanted suspect would run home, and the police would never be able to arrest them. Before making an arrest, the police need to obtain an arrest warrant. The warrant allows the police to take someone into custody no matter where they are, including in their own home. Even if you refuse to allow the police into your home, they may enter anyway to execute the arrest warrant.

There are exceptions to the warrant rule, and it is possible to be arrested in your home without a warrant. However, these exceptions tend to apply in specific circumstances and emergencies. For example, suppose your roommate calls the police because someone broke in and stole their computer. Next, suppose your roommate lets the police inside, where they find illegal controlled substances in plain view in the living room. The police could arrest you and your roommate for the drugs because they were given lawful consent to enter the home and found the illegal substance in plain view. No warrant would be necessary for this situation.

The police might also be able to enter your home and arrest you or someone else if they believe there is an emergency and their assistance is needed in your home. For example, the police can arrest someone without a warrant if they witness the suspect commit the crime. If the suspect fled the scene, the police could even chase them into the suspect’s home and arrest them. This is known as the hot pursuit rule. If you were arrested, with or without a warrant, call our Mount Laurel criminal defense lawyers for help.

When the Police Are Not Allowed to Arrest You in Your Own Home in New Jersey

Understanding when the police can and cannot arrest you in your home is tricky. Essentially, the police can never arrest you in your own home, except when they can. If this sounds confusing, it is because law enforcement is a confusing subject area. A good rule to follow is to assume that the police cannot enter your home to arrest you unless they have a warrant. There might be exceptions to the rule, but these exceptions are difficult to challenge in the moment and are best left to our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys after the fact.

Knowing whether the police can or cannot arrest you at home might be better understood on a case-by-case basis. If the police come to your door without a warrant, you should assume they cannot enter without your consent. Even if you consent to let the police inside, they cannot arrest you without a warrant unless they witness you commit a crime in the house or find evidence of a crime.

If the police want to arrest you at home without a warrant because they claim some exception to the warrant rule allows it, you should ask them to explain themselves before handing yourself over. The police are not exactly known for their courtesy, so they might refuse to answer before breaking out the handcuffs, but it does not hurt to try to get more details. Either way, call our Trenton criminal defense lawyers for help immediately.

What Happens if the Police Arrest Me Illegally in New Jersey?

The police may only arrest someone under specific conditions, and legal procedures must be followed at all times. There are many cases of the police arresting people without warrants and no valid exceptions to the warrant rule. These kinds of arrests are illegal, and our East Brunswick criminal defense attorneys can help you in such a case. Even if you know that the police are arresting you illegally, do not resist, as this might lead to more trouble. Instead, clearly invoke your right to remain silent and demand an attorney.

When the police arrest someone, they often seize various pieces of evidence in the process. The police may conduct certain kinds of searches when they arrest someone in their own home. For example, they might make a protective sweep of the home to ensure nobody else is there or pat down the arrestee to ensure they do not have any dangerous weapons. In such cases, they can seize any evidence they find. If our team can prove that your arrest was illegal, we might be able to exclude any evidence the police obtained subsequent to the illegal arrest. Excluded evidence cannot be used against you in a trial.

Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys About Your Case Today

If the police arrested you in your home or you believe an arrest is imminent, our Piscataway criminal defense lawyers can help you protect yourself and your rights. Contact us for a free case review at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane. Call (609) 257-4019.