Arizona v. FisherAnnotate this Case
In May 2006, Mesa police responded to an aggravated assault call. Officers went to the apartment complex where Appellant Laquinn Fisher lived. Officers knocked and announced their presence. Appellant and two others came to the door. None had weapons, and all there were cooperative. Appellant matched a description given by the alleged assault victim. Despite having this information, officers thought further investigation was necessary because a gun used in the assault was still "unaccounted for. Without asking whether anyone else was inside, police entered the apartment to see if anyone else was there. Inside, officers smelled marijuana and observed open duffle bags containing drugs. After the sweep, officers obtained written consent from Appellant's roommate to search the apartment, and then seized the drugs. Appellant was charged with various crimes, including possession of marijuana. Appellant moved to suppress evidence of the marijuana that was seized. The trial court denied the motion, and a jury subsequently found Appellant guilty on the possession charge. The issue on appeal to the Supreme Court centered on whether the police lawfully conducted a protective sweep of a suspect's home when the suspect and the only other occupants were detained outside. The Court held that the protective sweep in Appellant's case violated the Fourth Amendment. The Court vacated Appellant's possession conviction, and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.