Judge John Wilson sitting in the Criminal Court of Bronx County was recently presented with a case involving a warrant-less entry into a man’s apartment. Police officers were investigating a crime scene in the Bronx. Mr. Cruz approached the scene and threw a piece of metal at one of the police officers. The police officer claimed the piece of metal almost struck him. Thereafter the police tried to arrest Mr. Cruz. Mr. Cruz did not wait around long enough for the police to successfully arrest him.
Mr. Cruz ran to his apartment. The police entered his apartment and claimed Mr. Cruz resisted arrest. The police charged Mr. Cruz with possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration. The police officers claimed they saw that Mr. Cruz had in his possession and control a handgun which was located in his mattress.
Cruz Seeks to Have Criminal Charges Dismissed Based on a Warrant-less Search
Cruz took the position the police did not have authority to enter his home and search it without a warrant. The district attorney’s office took the position the police did not need a warrant because they were in hot pursuit of Mr. Cruz. Judge John Wilson claimed the hot pursuit exception allowing for warrant-less searches only applied when they were pending felony charges. In this case, Judge Wilson took the position since the allegations against Mr. Cruz only amounted to misdemeanor criminal charges there was not a strong enough stated reason to justify a warrant-less search of his apartment. The judge’s ruling stated the police were without authority to arrest Mr. Cruz in his apartment without a search warrant on a misdemeanor charge.
Elliot S. Schlissel has acted as a criminal defense attorney for men and women being investigated and charged with crimes throughout the metropolitan New York area.