On September 16, 2015 the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decided the case of Moore v. Pederson. The case involves the warrantless entry into a private residence to arrest an offender standing at the front door’s threshold. A person’s home is considered their castle, and to invade that privacy requires the highest levels of legal justification. Usually the only legal method to enter a residence is an arrest or search warrant signed by an independent judge, or when one of the four U.S. Supreme Court recognized exemptions exist:
- Exigent circumstances
- Protective sweep
- Plain view contraband.
Making custodial arrests is a fundamental function of law enforcement, but it is also one of the most controversial. The U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights expresses the highest opinions on individual freedoms from government intrusion, and a custodial arrest is seen as one of the most intrusive acts on a citizen. As such, an arrest must pass a strict line of legal requirements to uphold the Constitution while ensuring that justice is still served on the offenders.