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When The Police Are In Hot Pursuit

What does it mean when the police are in hot pursuit? Generally, when the police are hot on the trail of a fleeing suspect they can pursue him or her.


Any search or seizure is limited by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which says: “The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Fourth Amendment specifically protects people against the physical entry of their homes. A warrantless entry and search of a private residence is presumptively unreasonable. There are several exceptions to the search warrant requirement: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) consent signifying waiver of constitutional rights; (3) the stop-and-frisk doctrine (4) hot pursuit; (5) probable cause to search accompanied by the presence of exigent circumstances.


Because warrantless searches of private homes are presumptively unreasonable, one would think that one could evade an arrest by running into one’s own home and hiding there. Wrong. A suspect may not avoid arrest simply by outrunning the police and entering a residence. When officers, having identified themselves, are in hot pursuit of a suspect who flees to a house in order avoid arrest, the police may enter without a warrant. It does not matter if the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony.


If the police enter a home without a warrant and without one of the exceptions to a search warrant, such as hot pursuit, then the officer’s actions can be challenged with a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress can result in the State of Ohio being prohibited from using evidence found as a result of the police’s unlawful acts.


To learn more, read my other posts related to this topic. I wrote about other exceptions to the warrant requirement, including the emergency aid exception, good faith exception, and searching abandoned property (searching garbage). I also wrote about instances where the courts did not extend the exception to the warrant requirement, such as the limitation on the use of drug dogs.


Attorney Gigiano is a Medina motion to suppress attorney in Wadsworth, and Summit County motion to suppress attorney near Barberton. Attorney Gigiano has successfully pursued motions to suppress for many of his clients, resulting in dismissals in many instances. To learn more about the work Attorney Gigiano has done for his clients, take a look at Daniel Gigiano’s Reviews, reviews found in a number of websites, and articles and links to his work. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by a Wooster motion to suppress attorney near Orrville, or a Stark County motion to suppress lawyer near Massillon, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.