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Commonwealth v. John Charles Lee, II 2009 PA Super 43 (3/13/2009)

Topic: DUI – Suppression of Evidence – Exigent Circumstances

Summary: Where the police were investigating a report of property damage (an offense that is considered to be of low-gravity), there was no proof that the occupants of the home were armed & dangerous, and there was no proof that the occupants may destroy evidence, exigency did not exist and a warrant was required.

Illustration: The victim reported that she heard a loud crash and discovered that something had crashed into her property and driven off. The police followed the trail of evidence to Lee’s home. The officers went to the rear of Lee’s property (off of a public road) to inspect his vehicle. The Court concluded that there were no exigent circumstances and that the police should have obtained a search warrant before conducting a search on Lee’s property.