The Exigent Circumstances Exception


Institution affiliations

The fourth amendment to the United States constitution grantsindividuals the right to be secure in their homes and protects themfrom unreasonable seizure and searches by law enforcement officerswho have not obtained a warrant (Levy, 2000). However, a number ofexceptions have been provided among them the exigent circumstancesexception whereby an officer could act without a warrant if he/shebelieves that delaying to obtain a warrant could impede anoutstanding police officer`s objective (Walker &ampHemmens, 2008).This paper discusses the Kentucky versus King Case that objects tothe circumstance in which a person believes that officers created anexigency circumstance in order to search the house. I concur with theSupreme Court ruling that rejected the appeal by King claiming policecreated the exigency due to bad faith because it is quite evidentthat the occupants would have destroyed the evidence when theyrealized that police were at their door.

The Kentucky versus King Case

Although King had a right to object to the use of evidence seized inhis apartment since the police lacked a warrant to search his house,I believe that the emergency circumstances under which the policeacted were not of their own making. This is because they did not actoutside of accepted laws when they first announced their presencebefore gaining entry into the house (Levy, 2000). Additionally,holding the officers accountable for acting in bad faith does nothold in the King case since they are allowed to take the necessarysteps to solve an emergency situation such as the King situationwhenever they are confronted with it. Furthermore, a ruling thatprevents police acting in exigent circumstances will provedetrimental to seizing evidence before criminals destroy it (Walker &ampHemmens, 2008).


Levy, L. (2000). Encyclopedia of the American Constitution(2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan Reference USA.

Walker, J., &amp Hemmens, C. (2008). Legal guide for police:Constitutional issues (8th ed.). Newark, NJ: LexisNexis MatthewBender.