Criminal Defense Questions: Domestic Violence call, can police come inside?

Question: I was at my father’s when my ex-girlfriend came over and started fighting with me. I then saw cops outside with guns in hand, they came in and arrested me. I don’t know who called them, but can they come in the house and arrest me without consent?

Amir’s Answer: Law enforcement is obligated to respond to a call for service. When that call relates to domestic violence allegations, they will be given greater authority, so their entry into the home is probably going to be deemed appropriate in light of the circumstances. The legality of the officer’s conduct should be a secondary consideration to whether you have a plausible defense to the charges you are facing. First, I recommend that you exercise your right to remain silent. Do not speak with anyone about this case, including your ex-girlfriend, your family, and your friends. The only person you should speak to about your case is your lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, you can find a well-qualified one in your county to represent you. As you probably know, the State Attorney’s Office has special prosecution units that handle domestic cases and they are not likely to back down when they have a cooperative victim. I don’t know how your ex feels about you now, but she will certainly have a say in what happens in this case. Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.
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