Supreme Court allowed warrantless search when exigency is created by police

On May 16, 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Kentucky v. King that exigent circumstances apply when the police do not act in a way that violates the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. The case involved police smelling marijuana outside an apartment door and kicking down the door after hearing what seemed to be the destroying of evidence. This ruling resolved a circuit court split that included five different tests being used to determine whether the police-created exigency exception applied. The lower court in this specific case used a two-pronged test that determined a warrantless arrest is not allowed when either the police deliberately created the exigency in bad faith or it was reasonably foreseeable that the police action would create an exigency.

Learn more about warrantless searches and the Fourth Amendment from the JURIST news archive.


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