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Author Topic: Police can't arrest you in your home?
Joe Bentley
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It seems like in every other episode of Law and Order we are treated to this scene...

Plain Clothes Cop: Ah Mr. Lecter? We have a package you have to sign for.
Mr. Lector: Well of course... allow me to step outside my abode...
Plain Clothes Cop: Ha ha Mr. Lector you are now under arrest for the henious crime of jaywalking!
Ms. Lector from inside house: Ah no... you can't do that!
Plain Clothes Cop: Sorry M'am your husband stepped outside...


If the police have either a warrant or probable cause does it really make a difference where they arrest you?

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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snopes
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quote:
It seems like in every other episode of Law and Order we are treated to this scene
Really? I can't recall a single episode of Law & Order in which they made a point of stating that a suspect had rendered himself arrestable by stepping outside his home.

- snopes

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Joe Bentley
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I know they did on the SVU episode with Fred Savage, and another one where the guy was the son of some uber-lawyer.

That last one was the funniest because it actually had the father screaming "No son get back!" as if that would magically save him from being arrested.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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inkiemouse
Let It Wasabi


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Yeah, they did do it on SVU... I know because I watch every episode, rerun or not ^_^;;;

I seem to remember my father telling me that they couldn't arrest you in your home... and he works with the law... but I don't know if he was talking about Canadian law or American law or both.

...never mind.

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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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In some instances they wil ask the person to "step outside" so you can demonstrate that you are wiling to go peacefully with tehm and not casue an ambarrasing scene. However if the cops have reason to beleve that you are not going to go peacfully and you are a flight risk, they can arrest you on teh spot if you are a danger.

Most people arent ones to resist cops and therefore the cops give them some dignity by not arresting them in front of their kids/spouse rather they will do it downtown.

But they can and will arrest people indoors if they feel the need to do it. Ive seen it on law and order several times. It avoids location shooting outdoors.

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W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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snopes
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quote:
I seem to remember my father telling me that they couldn't arrest you in your home... and he works with the law... but I don't know if he was talking about Canadian law or American law or both.
I think the distinction you're talking about is that (in U.S. jurisdictions, at least) police generally cannot enter your home to arrest you unless an arrest warrant has been issued.

I don't know whether police luring a suspect just outside his doorway under false pretenses in order to conduct a warrantless arrest would hold up in court. I think in the cases where I've seen the Law & Order detectives lure suspects out of their homes, it was more to prevent them from trying to flee the premises (through a back door or window) or destroy evidence.

- snopes

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
I think in the cases where I've seen the Law & Order detectives lure suspects out of their homes, it was more to prevent them from trying to flee the premises (through a back door or window) or destroy evidence.

... or get to the shotgun stashed under the bed, or to the Uzi in the closet.

Four Kitties

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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My dad works with the RCMP, and it's standard operating proceedure to ask people to come outside as a safety precaution for the officers. If people are going to get violent, it's better to have them outside with fewer weapons availble rather than inside where they can grab a kitchen knife.

In reality, it's almost always domestic disputes that put them in the situation of having to go to a home.

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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
I seem to remember my father telling me that they couldn't arrest you in your home... and he works with the law... but I don't know if he was talking about Canadian law or American law or both.
I think the distinction you're talking about is that (in U.S. jurisdictions, at least) police generally cannot enter your home to arrest you unless an arrest warrant has been issued.
I believe they could also enter if their was probably cause (ie they hear cries for help)

--------------------
W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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quote:
I believe they could also enter if their was probably cause (ie they hear cries for help)
Probable cause is what you have to have to get a search warrant. What you are describing is exigent circumstances

And I have arrested plenty of people in their homes, I just have to have a legal right to be there, and have probable cause for the arrest.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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CD
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, if they are going to the person's house to specifically arrest him for whatever reason, wouldn't an arrest warrant already exist? And if they were just going there to "ask questions" and then decided to arrest, wouldn't that be probable cause? Either way I can't see a reason for not arresting someone in thier home. On "COPS" they arrest people in thier homes all the time. Usually domestic abuse.

Now, could they arrest you in a friend's home? Isn't church "santuary"? I saw a L&O ep once where the church was protecting some guy.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by CD:
Now, could they arrest you in a friend's home? Isn't church "santuary"? I saw a L&O ep once where the church was protecting some guy.

If they have a warrant for your arrest, they can arrest you any time, any place: your house, your neighbor's house, church, car wash, grocery store, Fenway Park, etc. Modern penal codes do not recognize the legal ocncept of a church as sanctuary. Public relations-savvy people, on the other hand, recognize that the concept is pretty ingrained in people and may try to use it for emotional advantage.

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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diddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Blue:
quote:
I believe they could also enter if their was probably cause (ie they hear cries for help)
Probable cause is what you have to have to get a search warrant. What you are describing is exigent circumstances

And I have arrested plenty of people in their homes, I just have to have a legal right to be there, and have probable cause for the arrest.

Thank you blue, that was the term I was thnking of


BTW what is that picture of in your avitar? im trying to figure it out and im getting nothing.

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W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by diddy:
BTW what is that picture of in your avitar? im trying to figure it out and im getting nothing.

I believe Dark Blue's avatar is Sam the Sheepdog from the Looney Toons cartoons.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:
quote:
Originally posted by diddy:
BTW what is that picture of in your avitar? im trying to figure it out and im getting nothing.

I believe Dark Blue's avatar is Sam the Sheepdog from the Looney Toons cartoons.
I kink of thought it was a looney toones character, thats what I was thnking but i dont remember him all too well to recognize him.

--------------------
W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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quote:
BTW what is that picture of in your avitar? im trying to figure it out and im getting nothing.

As Jenn said it is Sam the Sheepdog from Loony Toons. (See signature) He and I think it was Ralph the wolf went to work everyday, where Sam's job was to protect the sheep and Ralph's job was to steal and eat a sheep. It was Roadrunner/Wild E Coyote style with Ralph ending up on the loosing end.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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Laura......The one with the rage
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Sorry to sound really thick, but what the heck is Jaywalking?
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Crossing in the middle of the street. "Cross at the green, not in between".

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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blucanary
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Crossing the street illegally. ie Against the light or in the middle of a block.

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Chimera
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quote:
Originally posted by Laura......The one with the rage:
Sorry to sound really thick, but what the heck is Jaywalking?

The only bit of the Jay Leno show that has any chance at all of being even slightly amusing.

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What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Laura......The one with the rage
The Red and the Green Stamps


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You mean when the red man is showing?
"in the middle of a block"????

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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Jaywalking is crossing in the middle instead of at a corner or at a pedestrian crosswalk. It's illegal but rarely enforced.

Crossing against the red light/red man is a different charge from jaywalking here, I believe.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Laura......The one with the rage:
You mean when the red man is showing?
"in the middle of a block"????

It wouldn't matter if the red man or the green man were showing, jaywalking is not crossing at the lights or at the stop sign or corner (or whatever) at all. It's crossing the street wherever the fancy strikes you.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Raven
I Saw Three Shipments


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Down here, that's usually where the cars strike you too.
[fish]

OT, without an arrest warrent, you have no legal reason to be inside someone elses's house. So, if you want to arrest them "only" on probable cause, they must leave the building first.

As has been said before, you can arrest someone anywhere if you actually got an arrest warrent first.

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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
Down here, that's usually where the cars strike you too.
[fish]

OT, without an arrest warrent, you have no legal reason to be inside someone elses's house. So, if you want to arrest them "only" on probable cause, they must leave the building first.

As has been said before, you can arrest someone anywhere if you actually got an arrest warrent first.

Or if it was extrigent circumstances. They probably could arrest you indoors if you were invited in. Dark Blue did say that he has arrested several people indoors...

--------------------
W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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ica171
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
I seem to remember my father telling me that they couldn't arrest you in your home... and he works with the law... but I don't know if he was talking about Canadian law or American law or both.
I think the distinction you're talking about is that (in U.S. jurisdictions, at least) police generally cannot enter your home to arrest you unless an arrest warrant has been issued.

I don't know whether police luring a suspect just outside his doorway under false pretenses in order to conduct a warrantless arrest would hold up in court. I think in the cases where I've seen the Law & Order detectives lure suspects out of their homes, it was more to prevent them from trying to flee the premises (through a back door or window) or destroy evidence.

- snopes

I'm a huge L&O fan (especially SVU) and I don't think I've ever seen an episode where they "lured" someone outside their home. I have seen episodes where they said, "Please step outside," and even episodes where, when the suspect asked why, they said "Because we're going to arrest you for such-and-such crime" or something similar.

My friend and I have talked about legal things we see on shows like this, basically wondering whether or not they are true. We both think that the legal premises on the show are true just because it's a very popular show and I honestly don't believe they'd make laws and case reference up.

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OTL
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by ica171:
My friend and I have talked about legal things we see on shows like this, basically wondering whether or not they are true. We both think that the legal premises on the show are true just because it's a very popular show and I honestly don't believe they'd make laws and case reference up.

They may not make up laws and case references, but that doesn't mean the writers (who likely aren't lawyers themselves) can't misunderstand and misrepresent the way the law should/does actually work.

(Of course, then there's David E. Kelley, who used to be a lawyer, and yet still gets legal issues wrong...)

Basically, if you're in legal trouble, don't expect that defense you saw work on Law & Order to get you out of trouble. Legal realism takes a back seat to entertainment value every time.

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-T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics

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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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quote:
OT, without an arrest warrent, you have no legal reason to be inside someone elses's house. So, if you want to arrest them "only" on probable cause, they must leave the building first.

There are plenty of ways to be in someones house legally without an arrest warrant. As was mentioned there is exigent circumstances, other common ones are consent, hot pursuit, and search warrants. If we establish probable cause for an arrest while there, we surley can make an arrest we don't have to wait for an arrest warrant.

I can see the L&O episode now.

Undercover cop: Hey can you come out here and sign for this package?

Suspect: Sure thing..... Wait a minute, are you a cop?

Undercover cop: Me, no man, I just want you to come out and sign for this package.

Suspect: If your a cop you have to tell me the truth right?

Undercover cop: Uh...Sure, now come sign for this package.

[fish]

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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Sara at home
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I seem to remember that this was even discussed on one of the SVU shows. Something about New York law doesn't allow an arrest in the person's home without an arrest warrant. As someone else mentioned, the most obvious instance was when they lured the kid whose father was an attorney out onto the front stoop and arrested him. That may have been the episode where the law was explained.
If they aren't luring people out of their homes, they're grabbing them on the street just before they enter their homes.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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