Homeowners in Florida are protected against unlawful searches of their homes. This means that police must secure a search warrant before entering and searching a person's home. In order to get that warrant, they must show probable cause, or reason to believe a crime is being committed or has been committed in that place.
However, even if police do not have a warrant, there is one very simple way they can get into your home and look around for evidence of a crime: you let them. Giving your consent for police to enter your home is a mistake people all across the U.S. make.
Some people don't realize they have the right to say no to a police who requests permission to come into your home. Others feel like they have nothing to hide. However, in both cases, understand that you do not need to let police into your home without a warrant.
Consenting to police requests to enter a home is how many grow-houses are discovered in Florida. You may not realize that there is evidence that you are growing cannabis in plain sight, but you would be surprised at how easy it is for homeowners to overlook details that police spot right away.
In fact, one man who was allegedly maintaining a grow house in Florida reportedly asked police to enter his home. Reports state that his home appeared to have been broken into, and the homeowner called police to go in first and make sure no one else was in there. They didn't find a burglar, but they found marijuana plants; the man was arrested and charged with marijuana-related charges.
People don't always use sound judgment when they are scared or intimidated, whether it's because of a potential burglar or the police officers knocking at the door. However, remember that you do not have to allow -- or invite -- police into your home without a warrant.
If police searched your home without a warrant and arrested you for marijuana cultivation as a result, it is not too late to protect yourself. You can work with an attorney who can scrutinize the search and identify ways to have evidence dismissed, if possible. If this happens, any charges against you could be dropped or reduced.