If police knock on a Georgia resident’s door at home, does he or she have to let them in? The question is perhaps more complex than one might realize because the answer depends on numerous factors. Learning as much as possible about search and seizure rights can be helpful if a police search leads to drug charges.

A police officer must have reason to conduct a search. More specifically, he or she must have reason to believe a crime has been committed inside a person’s home in order to have legitimate cause to want to search the home. A police officer, in most cases, must have a valid search warrant to go rummaging around inside someone’s house.

If an officer cannot show a signed search warrant, a homeowner does not have to agree to a search. There are exceptions to the rule, however, which would allow police to force entry into a home without a warrant. A search warrant lists the exact location and items within a location that police may search. If an investigating officer sees something in plain view, such as a substance that resembles marijuana or cocaine, for instance, the search may be expanded.

Georgia prosecutors file drug charges when they believe police have provided them with sufficient evidence to put a person on trial for a drug crime. A defendant is wise to secure experienced criminal defense support, especially if a law enforcement officer has violated his or her personal rights. Such an attorney would know just what to do to request a case dismissal or challenge a portion of or all evidence as inadmissible in court.