Cops no longer need search warrants, almost

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Could search warrants become a thing of the past? A U. S.Supreme Court ruling this week in a Kentucky case makes it easier for cops to break down your door without a judge's OK.

"Nobody should be breaking in your doors and coming in and doing whatever. Even if it is the police? Right, even if it's the police I don't think that's right," said Sherry Cardwell.

"That would be an invasion of privacy. I don't think they should be able to burst into my house," Carmen Addario said.

The 8-to-1 ruling says police have the right to force their way in if they believe you're destroying evidence of a crime. "The 4th Amendment right is a very sacred right that protects us from illegal search and seizure in our own home," said Sevier County Sheriff's Captain Jeff McCarter. His department takes it very seriously. "I think that's why the police community will have to apply this very cautiously.

Defense lawyer Donny Young says this ruling doesn't mean police can randomly pick your home for search. "Law enforcement has to have a reason to be there in the first place, a legitimate reason to be there in the first place."

In other words, police can't just charge into your castle. "So, if that officer doesn't have a warrant, and he can't explain to you why he thinks there's a crime being committed, or some other circumstances that would allow him to come into your home, you have a right to say no," said Young.


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