Police explain rules regarding entering a residence

Police explain rules regarding entering a residence

When can police enter your home or residence? When it comes to the Odessa Police Department, only when 3 things happen. 

1. Consent
2. Search Warrant
3. Exigent circumstances

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - At the end of the day, Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland says citizens have a right to privacy.

"A person's home is considered protected from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Constitution," said Bland.

Generally speaking if those rules aren't followed then attorney's like Bland can't make a case.

"If a house is entered into illegally the result is the evidence will not be used in court," said Bland.

Odessa Police didn't have consent, a search warrant or exigent circumstances when they visited the Quail Run Apartments the first time on Tuesday before the murder of Ashley Williams.

Once they got word of a missing persons, number 3 on the list led to number 2.

"When we arrived on scene, they became very suspicious. They could see a blood trail. They could smell a very strong chemical odor coming from the apartment. At that point, detectives were immediately notified and a search warrant was obtained for that apartment," said Cpl. Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department.

When it comes to privacy, Bland added it only works one way.

"You can't say you're at somebody else's house and expected privacy there. The privacy rights stay with the owner of the home or the resident of the home," said Bland.

Police tell us another example of exigent circumstances is when a suspect is fleeing and they run into a home. Police are allowed to go in.

Exigent circumstances apply to homes, apartments, even hotels.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.