Search warrant in Indiana
December 15, 2012 2:03 PM   Subscribe

In the State of Indiana, is it legal for the police to stop you from entering your house while they are waiting to obtain a search warrant? Can you point me to any statutes or literature that addresses this issue?
posted by Ggardner to Law & Government (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
IANAL, this doesn't speak specifically to Indiana law, and search and seizure law is anything but simple, so additional details could/would change this hypothetical situation pretty significantly . . . but just going on what you have above, there are certainly times when police can deny access while they obtain the warrant, the theory being that if you're allowed inside, you could destroy/dispose of the evidence.

This is the same general principle that can allow a cop to hold your car during a stop while they radio back for a warrant to search it.
posted by toomuchpete at 2:17 PM on December 15, 2012

It depends on how it was worded. Were they securing a probable crime scene, not allowing access? Or did that have that individual under arrest (even if they didn't say it?)? Was that person free to go away?

If the person was under arrest, then it doesn't matter. The question then becomes whether the arrest was justified or not.

If they were just securing the scene, they would have to convince a judge they had a reasonable suspicion that something illegal was in the house, and also that allowing people access to that house prior to searching it would allow them to potentially destroy that evidence.

So, most likely, if they followed the rules, yes, it is legal.
posted by gjc at 3:34 PM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not only can you go in and destroy evidence, you can go in and get a gun. Keeping you outside prevents that from happening.

The law of search and seizure allows for this kind of restraint, along with others, for the protection of the police officers.
posted by megatherium at 7:41 PM on December 15, 2012

Which law is that, megatherium?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:41 AM on December 18, 2012

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