Policeman checking woman's luggage during vehicle searchIf a search has been conducted in your criminal case and you believe that it was done unfairly or illegally, you may have already heard of something known as exigent circumstances. Under exigent circumstances, there is no Constitutional right to privacy, as it is an emergency situation. This means that, under these circumstances, a police officer is permitted to enter someplace without a warrant, because they felt as if it was necessary. However, you may have questions about a few things. For instance, what constitutes an emergency? What are some examples of these cases? We will help you understand when they apply to your case.

When it Applies to Your Criminal Case

Over the years, the courts have been a bit confused over whether or not exigent circumstances appeared in some cases or not. For instance, the court could look at a case differently from two angles: Say that you are being arrested for having drugs. Typically, the police would need a warrant to search your home. However, what if you made a threat to flush them down the toilet? Then there may be exigent circumstances for them to enter your house and find the drugs. If there is a good reason for the warrantless search and it was indeed an emergency situation, the warrantless search becomes legal. The judge will determine this according to your case.

When These Searches Are Necessary 

A search may be necessary if there is an immediate danger to a person or property. Reasonable beliefs can determine exigent circumstances.

Evanescent Evidence: If law enforcement has a reasonable belief that evidence is about to be destroyed in a crime, a search can be conducted. If a police officer physically sees or hears evidence being destroyed, they are permitted to enter. The Supreme Court says, in these cases, they would be acting appropriately. 

Hot Pursuit: If there is reasonable belief that a suspect is about to escape, exigent circumstances may apply. When there is a “hot pursuit” after a defendant, officers can follow a defendant anywhere without a warrant.

If you have been arrested for a crime through a warrantless search, you may have questions and concerns. You may believe that an officer or officers were acting illegally. Consult an experienced defense attorney today about your options after you have been arrested for a crime. We are looking forward to hearing from you.