skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 150172 Find in a Library
Title: Entering Premises to Arrest: The Threshold Question
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:63  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1994)  Pages:27-32
Author(s): J C Hall
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines U.S. Supreme Court decisions that pertain to warrantless entries into a private residence to effect an arrest.
Abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in "Payton" and "Steagald" represent a logical extension of the traditional requirement for judicial approval before government forces can intrude into the private domain of a person's dwelling. Absent emergency circumstances or consent, an arrest warrant is required to enter the residence of the suspect to effect the resident's arrest, although a search warrant is necessary to justify an entry into a third party's residence. Because there is no warrant requirement for making felony arrests in public places, law enforcement officers are free to devise arrest plans that avoid entries into private dwellings, and thereby, avoiding the need to acquire warrants. In devising such plans, however, officers must be aware that legal risks may yet arise, even though no actual, physical entry into a residence occurs, and should understand that steps can be taken to minimize those risks. There should be relatively little risk of knocking on the suspect's door and awaiting a response. If the suspect opens the door under these circumstances, the court cases show that there should be no problem in announcing the arrest. If someone other than the suspect answers the door, there is no legal risk in asking that person to request that the suspect come to the door. The most risky tactic is to demand that the suspect either come to the door or come outside. Although the law is still unsettled in this area, there is a significant risk that a court will view such action as a "constructive entry." 29 footnotes
Main Term(s): Police legal training
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Arrest warrants; Search warrants; US Supreme Court decisions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.