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Exigent Circumstances to Search a Home

When the police arrived to arrest AA on an assault charge, they were met at the door by AA who immediately complied and was placed into handcuffs.  Instead of taking AA into the car to transport him to the police station, the police entered his home and walked from room to room, looking around the home.  They located a bedroom with a large quantity of drugs and charged AA with possession with intent to deliver the pills, cannabis and cocaine located in the home.  At the Motion to Suppress the evidence, Attorney Kara Hoopis Manosh argued that the police had no right to walk around AA's home once they had completed their objective of arresting him for the assault.  The State argued that the police were allowed to make sure that nobody dangerous was in the home, and that the exigent circumstances doctrine allowed such a search.  The hearing judge agreed with Attorney Manosh and ruled that the police did not automatically have a right to search the home for dangerous persons and that, although some cases could call for such a search, there was nothing about this case to warrant such an intrusion into a person's privacy.  All of the drugs were suppressed and the drug charges were all dismissed. 

Practice area(s): Criminal Defense

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Kara Hoopis Manosh, Attorney and Counselor at Law is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense, Appeals, and Post-Conviction Relief issues in Rhode Island.

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