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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12366
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I live in alaska and went out of town for the weekend and

Customer Question

I live in alaska and went out of town for the weekend and we get a phone call sayin that it looks like someone kicked our door in. so the cops where called and went inside and found a grow room of about 8 marijuana plants and in alaska anything under 25 plants is right to privacy act under state constitution. anyway they werent in plain sight of the door way they were in a bed room with a closed door inside a 8 by 8 hut that was black and was zipped up and they couldnt see in it. they had called the person whos room they were in from i dont know how they found his phone number for hes not on the lease only I am and told him what had happend and said they found his grow and wanted to know what to do with it. he said what do u mean and they said they would be back with a warrant if he didnt let them take it down now. he said ok and hes not on the lease the lease is only in my name they had searched my room too and found a few of my guns that our legal and registered to me but they had made it clear on the phone call to him they found them. the police never called me and still havent contacted me. they said they entered because they thought the door was kicked in and when he called them back they said there was no evidence of damage to the door that they think door was left open. i know for a fact that the screen door was shut just not sure the main door was shut. i have a good feeling the neighbors came over and snooped around found what they found and called the cops. i am tryin to get the 911 transcripts of the call to the police so i can see what all was said on the call. should i see a lawyer asap or wait to see if they file charges hear say from alot of people when something like this happens and its a small amoutn and the law in alaska is you can have up to 25 plants in your house they just dont do anything but take your stuff. but does it sound like any rights were violated here
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I wouldn't call a lawyer yet, but if you are contacted by the police, then I would retain a lawyer. And absolutely do not talk to the police if they do contact you since it won't help you in any way, but it can hurt you.

With regard to the search, however, it sounds like it could be illegal. The gist of the law is that if the police had a legitimate reason to believe that there was a burglary, then they had a right to investigate, and that means searching the house for people. They would not have the right to begin rummaging through drawers and such since they wouldn't find an intruder there. On the other hand, they don't have to ignore evidence of a crime that is in plain sight. If, while legitimately searching for an intruder, they came across the plants, then that evidence could lawfully be used against you or the roommate.

Based on what you wrote, you obviously question the truthfulness of the claim that the police were searching for a possible intruder. If you are charged with any crime, then you may want to attack the validity of the search on that basis. Therefore, obtaining the 911 transcript (if there is one) would certainly be helpful. You may also want to talk to the neighbors (or have your attorney do it if you're charged with anything).

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our session). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the info. An the plants were not in plain sight. Is there a certain number of days to bring charges against me? An as far as someone giving them consent to take down the grow as they called it without a search warrant. That person they called an talked to doesn't even officially live here. His address is still at a diffrent location. An like I said he's not on the lease. So could that come into play at all. I'm not even sure how they knew his name to get his number. Unless the neighbors had said his name.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Hi again.

The DA has until the statute of limitations expires to bring charges against you, which is 5 years. I doubt that the "false consent" would come into play at all since the police have the right to rely on somebody who claims to live there. The bottom line is it was a good faith mistake. The police are not required to demand proof of who lives there before taking action like that.