The answer depends on the circumstances.  If you just happened to be on the premises, the police may not search or detain you.  But if you are sufficiently connected to the warrant’s subject, threatening to attack the officer or trying to conceal something named in the warrant, then the police are within their rights.

            To determine if you have a sufficient connection, a court may look at your status, where you live, your conduct and the purpose of your presence. If the warrant doesn’t include you, the police must have independent probable cause. 

For example, in People v. Duffie, the defendant was sleeping unclothed in a room when police executed the warrant.  An officer handed defendant his pants but first searched the pockets and uncovered crack cocaine.  The defendant was convicted of possession, but the appellate court vacated the conviction. The officer lacked independent probable cause to search defendant’s pocket.  Defendant had no resemblance to the warrant’s subject, nor was he acting suspiciously or threateningly to officers. 

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately.  An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense.  If the criminal charges against you flow from an unlawful police search,  then an attorney can petition the court to suppress the evidence resulting from the search. In some cases, the judge may even dismiss your charges.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

See 725 ILCS 5/108-9.        

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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