Warrantless entries are limited to those authorized by consent, probation or parole search conditions, or "exigent circumstances" involving some sort of emergency requiring immediate action. One category of exigency that may justify warrantless entry is the need to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.
July 7, 2011
What the exclusionary rule has actually meant in practice is that thousands (maybe millions) of criminals have been able to stop the prosecution from using critical evidence of their guilt to hold them accountable for their crimes.
March 1, 2009
The general rule-of-thumb is to try to get a warrant whenever possible. On the other hand, if you can seize evidence without engaging in a search, you don't need either a warrant or any exception.
March 1, 2008
There are four ways to make a lawful entry into a private home. Notice that "entry incident to outdoors arrest" is not on the list of lawful ways to get inside a residence. In three separate cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has held such entries to be unconstitutional.
February 1, 2008
In the 2007 decision in Brendlin v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court added yet another to a series of Fourth Amendment opinions on the subject of vehicle searches and seizures involving passengers, rather than drivers.
September 1, 2007
Most law enforcement officers are familiar with the term “Brady error.” But what exactly does the Brady rule cover, and what obligation does it impose on police? Under the Brady line of cases, when must officers preserve evidence, and what must be revealed to the prosecutor? These questions have been answered in a series of opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court.
December 1, 2006
One of the "firmly established exceptions" to the warrant requirement for searches and seizures is the "consent exception."
May 1, 2006
Most officers are aware of the general rule on entering a suspect's home to arrest him or to search for evidence. These actions must be supported by either valid consent or a recognized exigency.
August 1, 2005
When you go into a suspect’s home to execute a search warrant, it’s not uncommon to find several people present, whether suspects, family members, or others. Sometimes, occupants may outnumber officers on the scene. This can create problems of safety and control, making it more difficult to carry out the search. Realizing this, the Supreme Court has provided guidelines on the ability of officers to detain, handcuff, and question occupants while a search takes place.
May 1, 2005
If you're lucky enough to have an eye­witness to a crime, and your investigation leads to a possible perpetrator, getting a photo ID is often the next logical step. As with everything else you do, there's the wrong way and the court's way.
February 1, 1996