Asked in Criminal Law for Washington

Q: I would like to know if I can have the evidence suppressed or if officers were in violation of 4th amendment.

Sheriffs deputies arrived at residence for a warrant service deputy walked to front door of house. Deputy knocked and no answer. He knocked again and heard sound of deadbolt. The door became unlocked deputy knocked again and announced he was with sheriffs department deputy claims that he was knocking on the door this time the front door opened and he could see several people sleeping in the living room. Deputy says he observed male sitting 5 feet from door. Male was asleep deputy positively identified the suspect. Deputy walked in asked suspect to stand told him he had felony arrest warrant. Suspect is a felon on probation found with a weopon. Can we have evidence suppressed?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Carl Munson JR
Carl Munson JR
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: It is an interesting question. But it appears that the officer had a valid arrest warrant. If that is the case, officers have the right to a limited intrusion into the residence to arrest the suspect. And upon a valid arrest, if they find a weapon on the suspect, that would not be a violation of his rights. There would need to be more information regarding who answered the door, if there was any conversation as to consent to enter or not. The person having standing to challenge the entry would be the home owner or resident, not the suspected felon. And as there was no search done of the residence and no illegal contraband found in the residence to charge the owner/tenant, it doesn't appear they would have any successful challenge. Based on the facts of your scenario, it appears the suspected felon is out of luck. He/she definitely needs to work with their lawyer.

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