State v. Sullivan

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-20-2014
  • Case #: A150021
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.

Under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, a warrantless home entry by police is not lawful unless there is an exigent circumstance making the entry necessary; and, for the entry to be lawful, the State must be able to make some showing of the feasibility of obtaining a warrant.

Defendant appealed the trial court’s conclusion that a warrantless home entry by police was lawful. The police received a report of an intoxicated driver and later identified Defendant as the intoxicated driver at his apartment as he was making his way towards his door. Defendant fled into his apartment with his then seven-year-old son and denied the police access. No warrant was obtained before the police broke through Defendant’s door to apprehend him. Police entry led to Defendant’s arrest and conviction for driving under the influence (DUII) and recklessly endangering another; his son. Oregon case law stipulates that warrantless entries are not permitted unless there is an exception, such as an exigent circumstance that requires the police to act quickly in order to prevent danger to life. The Court reversed the decision, holding that the State failed to make any showing of the feasibility of obtaining a warrant before entering the home. Reversed and remanded.

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