Community Caretaker Doctrine Issues

Law Enforcement’s increased reliance on the “Community Caretaker Doctrine” as an exception to a warrantless search

As a Fort Lauderdale How to Buy Xanax 1 Mg Online without Prescription criminal defense attorney, I read dozens of probable cause affidavits (or “A” forms) a month. A probable cause affidavit is required to justify Buy Xanax Online law enforcement’s arrest of an individual. Without justification, a Magistrate Judge may find that the State does not have “probable cause” to hold the arrestee on bond and release the arrestee on his/her “own recognizance”. As a result, in cases involving a warrantless search of an individual (or an individual’s vehicle), an acceptable probable cause affidavit will inevitably list an “exception” for why law enforcement did not obtain a warrant prior to conducting the search.

It is well settled under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments that a search conducted without a warrant issued upon probable cause is ‘per se unreasonable… subject only to a few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions. Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 219 (1973). The State has the burden of showing that a warrantless search comes within one of the recognized exceptions. Reed v. State, 944 So.2d 1054, 1058 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2006). The five established exceptions to the warrant requirement are: “(1) consent, (2) incident to a lawful arrest, (3) with probable cause to search but with exigent circumstances, (4) in hot pursuit, and (5) stop and frisk. In recent months, law enforcement has increasing relied upon “exigent circumstances”, and more specifically, the “community caretaker doctrine” or “emergency aid exception” as the recognized exception to effectuate a search without a warrant.

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