Probable Cause Plus Exigent Circumstances

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2. Probable Cause Plus Exigent Circumstances The probable cause plus exigent circumstances exception to the search warrant requirement “applies when the exigencies of the situation make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that a warrantless search is objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” The state bears the burden of proving that the search falls under this exception. The exception requires that an officer have probable cause and that the situation present exigent circumstances. To have probable cause, there must exist “a fair probability that the police will find evidence of a crime.” However, “no amount of probable cause can justify a warrantless search or seizure absent ‘exigent circumstances.’” Whether a law enforcement officer was justified in acting in the absence of a warrant depends on the “totality of circumstances.” The United States Supreme Court uses a “careful case-by-case” approach to determine whether circumstances rose to the required level of exigency. Recognized exigent circumstances that justify warrantless entry may include, but are not limited to: entering to provide emergency aid to someone inside, pursuant to an immediate threat to officer safety, in “‘hot pursuit’ of a fleeing suspect,” “to put out a fire and investigate its cause,” and to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence of a serious crime. While circumstances that present the requisite exigency to justify a warrantless search differ, “in each

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