State v. Ault

In State v. Ault, 150 Ariz. 459, 724 P.2d 545 (1986), the police went to the defendant's house with the ultimate intention of arresting him. Id. at 464, 724 P.2d at 550. The supreme court held that police could not enter the residence to secure it out of concern that the defendant might destroy evidence because, by not obtaining an arrest warrant and arresting the defendant at the front door of his home when they had the opportunity and probable cause to do so, the police created the exigency. Id. at 463-64, 724 P.2d at 549-50. The court concluded the evidence the police had seized without a warrant while accompanying Ault inside the house should have been suppressed. Id. at 462, 466, 724 P.2d at 548, 552. The Court considered the state constitutional implications of a warrantless entry into a home after police officers entered illegally and obtained evidence that our supreme court held should be suppressed on state constitutional grounds. Id. at 462-63, 465-66. In deciding the case independently of the United States Constitution, the court nonetheless stated it "believed that the Supreme Court would require suppression of this evidence under the Fourth Amendment" as well. Id. at 466. After noting that the Arizona Constitution "generally . . . incorporates federal protections," the court held that Article 2, Section 8 is "specific in preserving the sanctity of homes and in creating a right of privacy." 150 Ariz. at 466, 724 P.2d at 552. Thus, police could not enter a home without a warrant or any exigency, illegally arrest the occupant, and seize evidence in plain view. 150 Ariz. at 464, 466, 724 P.2d at 550, 552. The court also observed that the inevitable discovery doctrine had been limited to searches of a car and of a hotel room. Id. at 465, 724 P.2d at 551.