Is Warrantless Arrest and Seizure of Evidence Justified If Police Officer's Entry Into Defendant's Apartment Was Peaceable and Minimal ?

In People v. Pierini, 278 Ill. App. 3d 974, 215 Ill. Dec. 743, 664 N.E.2d 140 (1996), the police not only effectuated a warrantless arrest but also seized evidence from the defendant's apartment. The police went to the defendant's residence to investigate after receiving information regarding cannabis trafficking. When the officer knocked on the door and defendant answered, the officer smelled a strong aroma of cannabis and saw a cigar box on a nightstand next to the door full of half smoked marijuana cigarettes. The officer reached in the doorway, picked up one of the cigarettes and determined that it was indeed cannabis. The court held the seizure was proper because the commission of the offense occurred in the presence of an officer, the police officer was acting on a clear showing of probable cause and his brief incursion into defendant's apartment to seize the cannabis cigarettes was both peaceable and minimal. Pierini, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 979.