Say someone signs a lease with someone else. For clarity the drug dealers name will be Mike and other persons name will be Steve. Now Mike begins to drug deal and do drugs inside the house along with breaking a bunch of other laws. Steve sees this for a while and does nothing. Until one day Mike steals something from Steve. Now Steve would like to see Mike arrested and jailed for drug dealing, possession of drugs, and crimes he has confessed to Steve. Evidence would be in Mike's room and Text messages that Mike has on his phone would confirm the truth about the crimes he has confessed to.

If Steve were to call the police (and he is on the lease) could he have them walk in to the house and go into Mike's room to find the evidence of these crimes (without Mike's Permission) and arrest him on the spot? Also Mike would have no criminal record in this hypothetical scenario.

  • The phrase ending with a question mark is the question. Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 5:14

1 Answer 1


The police (and any other involved public agencies) do not work for Steve. They make their own decisions. You didn't specify a location, and requirements to consent to a search vary by location. It wouldn't be surprising, though, if Steve can't legally consent to a search of someone else's room (but possibly could consent to search of common areas).

One possibility you don't seem to have considered is that the police or prosecutor would, if Steve is willing to testify, use Steve's testimony as probable cause to get a warrant. Then they could obtain text messages from Mike's service provider (even if he's deleted them from his phone), search his room without his consent, etc. Details again vary by location.

Finally, any jail/prison term is typically up to a judge or jury, not the police. Pre-trial detention is typically up to a judge or magistrate.

(Also, outside the scope of your question, but if there is any chance Steve has allowed himself to become involved in the misdeeds, even slightly, Steve would be wise to talk to a lawyer. Or if he suspects the police could believe that.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .