Criminal Law - Search and Seizure - Warrantless Entry without Probable Cause: A Dilution of the Fourth Amendment
Wickenkamp, Mary C.
INTRODUCTION|In a recent decision, State v. Penas, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a warrantless entry into an apartment house landing by police officers for the purpose of apprehending an individual who had fled into the house after the officers sought to make a warrantless arrest. In doing so, the Penas majority opinion, written by Judge Spencer, espoused two alternative rationales. The court relied first upon the exigent circumstance of hot pursuit to justify a warrantless entry to make an arrest. As a second basis of its decision, the court utilized the holdings of United States v. Santana and United States v. Edwards to further find that the defendant could not frustrate "valid police action" begun in a public place by fleeing to a private place.|The Penas case posed two interesting issues. The first of these concerned the applicability of the rule allowing warrantless entries based upon probable cause and exigent circumstances. The second issue raised was whether a peace officer could, under exigent circumstances, make a warrantless entry to apprehend one over whom he had authority only to make an investigatory detention for purposes of determining whether there was probable cause to make an arrest...
12 Creighton L. Rev. 187 (1978-1979)
Creighton University School of Law