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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164584 Find in a Library
Title: Making Arrests Inside a Dwelling
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(November 1996-January 1997)  Pages:5-8,39
Author(s): R C Phillips
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains court rulings pertinent to making arrests inside a dwelling.
Abstract: The California Supreme Court held in 1976 in People v. Ramey that "the Fourth Amendment prohibits a warrantless entry into a dwelling to arrest in the absence of sufficient justification for the failure to obtain a warrant." Four years later, the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision in Payton v. New York, thus making the rule the "law of the land." Over the years, "Ramey" and "Payton" have been expanded to include temporary residences, including motels and hotels and even tents in a public campground and migrant farm housing on private property. This does not hold true for temporary shelters on public or private property constructed and inhabited without a permit or permission. A warrantless entry and arrest in the private portions of a business are also prohibited. There are many exceptions to Payton/Ramey, however. They can be grouped into three areas: consent, when there is no reasonable opportunity to obtain a warrant due to "exigent circumstances," and when the officer is already in the residence for some other lawful purpose. For consent to be an exception, the consenter must be aware of the purpose of the requested entry. A consent obtained by deception is invalid. Exigent circumstances that permit a warrantless arrest in a protected dwelling are hot pursuit of a fleeing felon, imminent destruction of evidence, or the need to prevent a suspect's escape, as well as the risk of danger to the police or to other persons inside or outside the dwelling. Officers who enter a home with a search warrant are thus lawfully inside, and they do not also need an arrest warrant to make an arrest inside the home at that time. Similarly, a warrantless entry made for the purpose of checking on the welfare of someone apparently in distress is lawful. A warrantless arrest in the home in violation of Payton and Ramey does not necessarily invalidate any evidence other than that which is the direct product of the illegal entry. 68 notes
Main Term(s): Police legal limitations
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Arrest procedures; Arrest warrants; Police legal training; Right of privacy; Rights of the accused; US Supreme Court decisions
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