Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Pennsylvania

On Saturday night, my son had a party at his Apartment and invited several friends to watch a hockey game. The Police came to the door in response to a loud noise complaint. When my son answered the door he stepped outside the door and closed it. The police immediately kicked in the door and rounded everyone up. They padded down all the kids (girls and boys) without any reason and took all the cash that several of the boys had in their pocket. Even the boys that were just there to watch the game. They spent 2 and a half hours searching the house and found small amounts of Marijuana and a bong. They told everyone to leave and took everyone’s information before they did. So far, 6 of the guests received citations in the mail, even those who were there unknowing of anything going on. My question is; does the police have a legal right to search someone’s home without a search warrant? Do they have the right to pat down everyone in the house? And do they have the authority to take everyone’s money without any a connection to possession? I am not happy about my son having marijuana but I am concerned that the Police may have overstepped their bounds!

Asked on 11/10/09, 10:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Brian Zeiger Levin & Zeiger LLP

they need a warrant to go in the house. there are a lot of exceptions to the rule. the police will come up with some reason why they HAD to go in to the house without a warrant. seems like you all live in a small county. kind of doubtful a local judge in a small county will suppress. you are in the right, the cops overstepped their bounds.

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Answered on 11/15/09, 10:16 pm

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