People v. Garcia, 2017 IL App (1st) 142141 (March). Episode 330 (Duration 4:34)
Police entered a home without a warrant to make a misdemeanor arrest; the exclusionary rule does not mandate suppression of evidence.
Defendant was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm based on his possession of a firearm while under 18 years of age. 720 ILCS 5/24-3.1(a)(1).
Officers knock on defendant’s door and either his little brother or mother answered.
They come in an immediately arrest the defendant in the living room. The family testified that they barged in and did not identify themselves as police officers. They took defendant outside the home and before placing defendant in their vehicle, he performed a search of defendant and recovered a six-shot .32 caliber revolver handgun.
The police said defendant was wanted on an armed robbery. They had a signed misdemeanor complaint for theft and battery. In fact, they had no search or arrest warrant.
Defendant filed a pretrial motion to quash arrest and suppress the gun seized from him on the grounds that it was obtained through a warrantless entry into his home.
On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence because the evidence was obtained through exploitation of the illegal warrantless arrest within his home and is therefore subject to the exclusionary rule.
In other words, the handgun recovered from his pocket was only recovered through “exploitation of the illegality” of the police officers’ unconstitutional entry into his home.
In Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 602-03 (1980), the United States Supreme Court held that warrantless entry by police officers into a defendant’s residence to make a routine felony arrest in the absence of consent or exigent circumstances violated the defendant’s fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
Ten years later, in New York v. Harris, 495 U.S. 14, 16 (1990), the Court again addressed the warrantless entry of police officers into a defendant’s home, examining the issue of whether a statement made by a defendant outside of the home should have been suppressed because the police, by entering defendant’s home without a warrant and without consent, violated Payton’s rights.
The Court concluded that the defendant’s statement should not be suppressed.
In People v. Alexander, 212 Ill. App. 3d 1091 (1991), this court first addressed the Supreme Court’s decision in Harris and reiterated the Harris holding that “where the police have probable cause to arrest a suspect, the exclusionary rule does not bar the State’s use of a statement made by the defendant outside of his home, even though [that] statement is taken after an arrest made in the home in violation of Payton, ” because “as long as the police have probable cause for holding the suspect in custody, such statements are neither “the product of being in unlawful custody *** [nor] the fruit of having been arrested in the home rather than someplace else.” Alexander, 212 Ill. App. 3d at 1104 (quoting Harris, 495 U.S. at 19).
This court went on to decide that although Harris only referred to statements obtained outside the home, “we see no reason why the rule it enunciates should not apply as well to other evidence obtained outside the home, as the argument for excluding statements was that they were the fruits of an illegal arrest rather than that there was some basis for distinguishing between statements and other evidence.”
As a result, this court held that because the defendant did not deny the existence of probable cause for his arrest, the trial court did not err in admitting the evidence obtained from the defendant away from his home after his arrest.
This court has previously recognized, on at least two occasions, that the rule from Harris regarding statements has been applied to other evidence obtained outside the home, even going so far as to say that, “we see no reason why the rule Harris enunciates should not apply as well to other evidence obtained outside the home.” Alexander, 212 Ill. App. 3d at 1104.
Thus, here, like in Harris, because the officers had probable cause, defendant was not unlawfully in custody when he was removed from his home and searched before being placed into the officer’s vehicle. The court found that where officers had probable cause to effectuate defendant’s arrest, and while their entry into his home to do so was unlawful under Payton, the evidence recovered outside his home is not required to be suppressed.
The trial court properly denied defendant’s motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence.
In the 20th century the exclusionary rule became the principal judicial remedy to deter Fourth Amendment violations.
But the significant costs of this rule have led the court to apply it only where its deterrence benefits outweigh its substantial social costs.
Suppression of evidence has always been their last resort, not our first impulse. The attenuation doctrine holds that evidence discovered after an illegal seizure is admissible when the connection between unconstitutional police conduct and the evidence is remote or has been interrupted by some intervening circumstance, so that “the interest protected by the constitutional guarantee that has been violated would not be served by suppression of the evidence obtained.”