Exigent circumstances are considered as situations that could lead a sensible person to accept that the pertinent rapid action was essential to avoid physical damage to the public or law enforcers, suspect escape and destruction of significant evidence or other consequences. These are exemptions to the general state of an authorization under Fourth amendment seizures or searches. Exigent circumstances tend to justify warrantless seizure and search (Hawkins, 2021). This is because exigent circumstances are emergency conditions that demand instant action. Therefore, such circumstances justify immediate action such as preventing imminent danger to life or serious property damage, stop destruction of evidence or stop escape of a suspect. For instance, the need to act promptly can arise when making an arrest or investigating a crime. This requires the police to act quickly thus allowing warrantless seizure or search which may prove exigent circumstance. For an exigent circumstance, courts take a look at the state when the officer conducts an authorized seizure or search to evaluate if the officer’s decision was reasonable at the scene and if an urgent act was essential to secure a warrant (Hawkins, 2021). Relatively, courts may consider whether the facts suggested were reasonable for the safety of the officer.
In Missouri v. McNeely (2013) police officer Mark Winder noticed a driver over speeding which led to traffic stop and pulling him over. After the police officer assessed the driver McNeely, he found his eyes were blood shoot red and his breath was full of alcohol. McNeely declined the portable breath test, so the police officer was forced to arrest the driver and took him to the transport to have an alcoholic blood test. The driver refused the blood test but the police officer order it to be down without a warrant. McNeely suppressed the evidence since it was obtained without warrant but the state argued that the situation represented an exigent circumstance. The Supreme Court clarified that various circumstances may give rise exigency sufficient to justify a warrantless search such as law enforcement’s need to offer emergency assistant.