Police May Search Your Trash Containers During Investigations

Mar 10 2020

You probably already know that unless you invite the police into your home or they witness a crime in progress, they need a warrant to conduct most searches. What you may not realize is that some of the most incriminating evidence police may find can occur in a legal gray area just beyond your front door.

Once you put refuse out on the curb for trash collection, police and other law enforcement professionals can legally search for evidence to use against you. They can go through the trash at your home, as well as any commercial trash receptacles at your place of business. Discovering someone picking through your trash may be your first warning sign that police currently have you under investigation.

Police use garbage to establish genetic connections or even motive

The things that you throw away can tell what enforcement quite a bit about you. From indicators about your personal life that they can infer thanks to various products in your waste receptacle to the collection of genetic samples that you declined to provide voluntarily, there are many ways in which your discarded trash could create the basis for a legal case against you. Police could establish genetic ties to a crime scene or even create a motive for the alleged crime based on the trash they find.

If you discover someone going through your garbage, you may need to start taking steps to protect yourself legally. Particularly if you believe law enforcement officers have violated your rights, such as by searching through garbage that has not yet been taken to the curb for pickup, it may be in your best interest to document your concerns and discuss them with a legal professional who is familiar with criminal defense and civil rights.

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