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Do I have the right to refuse the New York City Police Department searching me, my car, or my home?

You do not have to consent to a search of yourself, your property, your car, or your home. Remember that if you consent to a search it may affect your rights in court.

In the case of Payton v New York, 445 US 73 (1980), the United States Supreme Court held that searches and seizures inside of you without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable.

A warrantless search of your home may be lawful under the following limited circumstances:

– If you consent to the police search of your home. See Davis v United States, 328 US 582 (1946);

– If the search is incident to a lawful arrest. See United States v Robinson, 414 US 218 (1973);

– If there is probable cause to search and exigent circumstances. See Payton v New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980); or

– If the items are in plain view. See Maryland v Macon, 472 US 463 (1985).

Therefore, you should never let the police in your home unless they have a valid search warrant.

Although you do not have to consent to the police search yourself, your property, or your car you cannot interfere with the police in performing their work.

Interference with a police officer's performance of his or her duty is a crime. Under New York Penal Law § 195.05 a person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he intentionally obstructs, impairs, or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any independently unlawful act.

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