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A Better Partnership
February 22, 2013

Drugs seized after police entered home through open door held admissible

In People v. Lemons, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and held drug evidence seized by officers admissable. The Court of Appeals held that the police officers' warrantless search of the defendant's condominium was justified under the emergency-aid exception to the warrant requirement. Under the emergency-aid exception to the warrant requirement, officers may enter a residence without a warrant if they reasonably believe, based on specific facts, that a person within the residence is in need of immediate aid. In this case, having been called to the scene by anonymous neighbor, the officers reasonably believed that there had been a home invasion based on the fact that the front door open was in the middle of the day in November. Thus, the exception applied and the evidence obtained should have been admitted. Moreover, the Court of Appeals noted that, even if the search did not fall within the emergency-aid exception, the exclusionary rule would be inappropriate because the officers acted in good faith and in the interest of protecting the public.

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