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Commonwealth v. Moye – Case Brief Summary (Pennsylvania)

In Commonwealth v. Moye, 402 Pa. Super. 81, 586 A.2d 406 (Pa. 1991), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania considered whether the "consent once removed" doctrine applied when an undercover agent purchased drugs from the defendant, stepped out of the apartment and into the hallway and signaled back up officers, who then entered the defendant's apartment.

The court considered whether the right to arrest Moye "continued while Officer Williamson went to the stairway to obtain 'back up,' despite the closing of the apartment door during her momentary absence." Id. at 408.

The court held that, "while one consensual entry does not entitle a law enforcement official to return at any substantially later time, an officer's momentary exit to secure back up does not invalidate an otherwise legal arrest." Id. at 409.

Having determined that the arrest was valid, the court held that evidence seized in plain view did not have to be suppressed.