Thursday, June 9, 2016

KYCOA - Lydon - Knock and Talk/Exigent Circumstances

Ian Lydon v. Commonwealth, Opinion Reversing and Remanding, To be Published

On a grant of discretionary review, Lydon argued that the circuit court erred in affirming the district court’s decision overruling his motion to suppress evidence observed and photographed when police entered his home without a warrant. The subject incident occurred when officers were looking for a juvenile who was involved in an incident earlier that day, and they received information that the juvenile was at appellant’s apartment. The officers conducted a knock and announce at the front door of appellant’s apartment. Lydon was confronted about the missing juvenile and the smell of marijuana. Before Lydon could answer, the officers entered the home. 

The Court of Appeals noted that the only indicia of criminal activity at the time of entry was the odor of burning marijuana, which can create probable cause but is insufficient, by itself, to create exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless entry. By the time the officers saw the juvenile for whom they were searching, they had exceeded the bounds of their knock and talk and were in a place they had no legal right or justification to be. 

Bill Maddox represented Mr. Lydon in district court and circuit court
Erin Yang represented Mr. Lydon on the Court of Appeals