California v. LujanoAnnotate this Case
Police officers contacted and detained not only an individual in the driveway in front of a house, whom they observed stripping copper wire from an air conditioner, but also the occupant of the house, suspecting that "maybe possibly" a burglary was in progress. The officers were aware of no facts particular to the occupant of the house suggesting that he was a burglar, rather than a resident. And they made no reasonable attempt to ascertain such facts until after he was detained. It was later determined he was in fact a resident. "The Fourth Amendment does not countenance warrantless intrusion by police into a private home and detention of a resident under the circumstances of this case. The police had no probable cause with respect to the resident of the house (who was the defendant in this case) so suspected exigent circumstances do not justify the officers' actions." As such, the detention was unlawful, and defendant's motion to suppress the fruits of that unlawful detention should have been granted.