Thursday, July 06, 2006

Arrest warrant permits entry into dwelling if police have probable cause to believe that defendant is residing at and present in the residence

In United States v. Veal, No. 05-1612 (3d Cir. July 3, 2006), the Third Circuit held that under Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 603 (1980), an arrest warrant founded on probable cause carries with it the limited authority to enter a dwelling if there is probable cause to believe that the suspect lives there and is located within. The Court noted that some courts have held that the police only need reasonable suspicion to believe that the suspect is residing at the location and present within to support entry into the dwelling under Payton, but the Third Circuit, under its own precedent, applied the probable cause standard.

In the case at hand, the Court cited numerous factors supporting the police's probable cause belief that Veal resided at his wife's home and was present in the residence on the day of his arrest. These factors included,among other things, the timing of the arrest, Veal's fugitive status, the presence of a car that he was known to drive outside the residence, his marriage to the listed resident of the home, and the fact that he had previously been living with his wife.

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