Posted By Thomas J. Foley
It is very common for the police to arrest suspects without a warrant. The term you may hear is a “warrantless arrest.” However, there are strict limits as to when and where a warrantless arrest can be made. Recently, the Second Department threw out a defendant’s murder conviction because he had been improperly arrested without a warrant. In this case,the police went to a suspect’s home and knocked on his door.The suspect answered the door, appearing to be “half asleep” and naked from the waist down, looking at the police from behind the partly open door. When police asked him to come fully into view, he began to close the door. The police then forced their way into his apartment and arrested him. Here the Court found that where the police officers crossed the threshold into the defendant’s apartment, pulled him into the hallway, and arrested him without a warrant, the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated. This case highlights the importance of retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney whenever. The danger of hiring an inexperienced attorney is that he/she may not be current with recent decisions from the higher Courts in our State. These decisions are binding on the lower Courts. This means that if your case has a similar set of facts as these, a Judge may be compelled to suppress illegally obtained evidence. Illegally obtained evidence could include a false confession, or physical evidence tending to support the allegations.