The Second Department, reversing and reducing defendant’s convictions, determined a gun found after the emergency which justified police entry into defendant’s home had abated should have been suppressed. The police forced the door open after receiving a report of an assault with weapons and after learning the defendant had run inside the home. After the defendant was handcuffed and the children secured in a bedroom, the police searched the basement a second time and found the gun. The Second Department also hed the injury suffered by the assault victim was not serious enough to meet the requirements for assault second:
… [W]e agree with the defendant that the hearing court should have suppressed the gun. Although “warrantless entries into a home are presumptively unreasonable'” … , a warrantless search and seizure in a protected area may be lawful under some circumstances pursuant to the emergency doctrine … . The emergency exception “sanctions warrantless searches and seizures in circumstances presenting an immediate danger to life or property” … . “This exception must be narrowly construed because it is susceptible of abuse and may be used to validate an otherwise unlawful arrest or seizure” … . The People have the burden of justifying the warrantless search … . Moreover, the scope and duration of the search must be limited by, and reasonably related to, the exigencies of the situation … .
Here, the initial entry by the police into the defendant’s home and the initial search for occupants and weapons was justified under the emergency doctrine … . However, once the police had the defendant in handcuffs and had secured all of the occupants of the home in the rear bedroom, the emergency had abated … . People v Williams, 2017 NY Slip Op 00329, 2nd Dept 1-18-17
CRIMINAL LAW (SEARCH NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE EMERGENCY DOCTRINE, INJURY NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT ASSAULT 2ND)/SEARCH AND SEIZURE (SEARCH NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE EMERGENCY DOCTRINE)/SUPPRESSION (CRIMINAL LAW, SEARCH NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE EMERGENCY DOCTRINE)/ASSAULT (INJURY NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT ASSAULT 2ND)/PHYSICAL INJURY (CRIMINAL LAW, INJURY NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT ASSAULT 2ND)