Entry Without Warrant Is Illegal
illegal entry - dui reckless driving dismissed
Summary: Police enter home without warrant, test occupant and arrest him for drunk driving and reckless driving, thus violating his constitutional rights with an illegal search and seizure. Attorney Fred Slone wins motion to suppress evidence; charges dismissed.
anchorage vs. r. m., district court anchorage, Alaska
city police receive reckless driving intoxication complaint
Police received a report of a hit and run accident in the parking lot of a tavern. The dispatch indicated that the suspect vehicle had rammed another car and struck a light pole before speeding away. The pickup was described driving away with a flat tire and the suspect vehicle was identified with a license plate number. The dispatch indicated that there was information that the driver was believed to be intoxicated.
city police receive address of suspect
As police were driving to the scene, they received another dispatch message indicating that a witness had followed the truck to a residence near the area of the accident, and the suspect had entered the residence.
city police enter home without warrant
Approximately 25 minutes after the initial dispatch report, police officers arrived at the suspect's residence. They knocked on the door, called the telephone number of the residence, and called out, but no one answered. When the officers received no response, they opened the unlocked door, walked into the home, and woke R. M., who was sleeping in his bed.
police administer sobriety test & arrest suspect
R. M. was taken to the police station where a breath test was administered with a .192 result. R. M. was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
suspect hires attorney fred slone
R. M. retained Attorney Fred Slone in both the DMV proceeding, as well as the criminal case.
administrative dmv hearing reinstates driver's license
At the DMV Hearing, Attorney Fred Slone requested dismissal of the revocation action on the grounds that the officers violated R. M.'s constitutional rights when they entered his home without a warrant. The DMV hearing officer granted Attorney Fred Slone's request and R. M.'s license was reinstated.
slone seeks suppression of evidence
In the criminal case, Attorney Fred Slone filed a pretrial motion to suppress all evidence obtained after the police entered the home, and dismiss the case. An evidentiary hearing was held in which the police officers testified.
prosecution argues for warrant exceptions
The prosecution argued that the entry of the home was justified in this case based on recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement, including the "hot pursuit" doctrine, and the "exigent circumstances" exception to the warrant requirement. The judge accepted Attorney Fred Slone's arguments, however, that the prosecution had failed to meet its burden of establishing an exception to the warrant requirement in this case. Therefore, the judge suppressed all evidence obtained after the police entered the home.
all charges dismissed
The District Court of Anchorage, Alaska dismissed all charges for drunk driving and reckless driving.