Officers surveyed the defendant’s apartment after receiving an anonymous tip regarding drug sales. The officers observed what appeared to be several drug transactions and allowed the buyers to leave the area. They stopped one of the buyers in a location removed from the defendant’s premises to confirm their suspicions. The officers then knocked on the defendant’s door, immediately entered and placed him under arrest. A subsequent search of his person resulted in the discovery of controlled substances.
Whether the government is justified in entering a premises to affect an arrest without consent, a warrant or exigent circumstance?
No. As a premises has a special status against a government intrusion, the government may only justify its entry with a warrant, consent or an exigent circumstance.
The Court stated that “[A]s Payton makes plain, police officers need either a warrant or probable cause plus exigent circumstances in order to make a lawful entry into a home.” As neither existed in this case, the entry was unlawful.
536 U.S. 635, 122 S. Ct. 2458 (2002)