Hot Pursuit and Entry Into Homes, a Practical Take

Kent did a short introduction of today’s Fourth Amendment case, Lange v. California, and I await his more detailed analysis.  In the meantime, I was discussing the case with a defense lawyer friend of mine, a very smart guy and a bit of a cynic.  One of his pals said that the CNN summary of the case went, “The U.S. Supreme court ruled Wednesday that police cannot enter a home without a warrant when pursuing someone for a minor crime.”  My buddy had a different view:  “That’s a dead wrong description of an opinion that effectively says the police can do this [a warrantless entry in hot pursuit] 99% of the time and claim good faith the other 1%.”

For most practical purposes in future litigation, that strikes me as pretty much dead on.

1 Response

  1. John Geer says:

    This sounds about right:

    Larry H. James, general counsel for the National Fraternal Order of Police, which filed a brief in the case, said he does not see much changing for police as a result of the ruling. The decision tells police to do what they always do, he said, which is “use your common sense, use your training.” He said the guidance for police from the ruling is: “When the situation warrants immediate action, take it. When it doesn’t, get a warrant.”