Is An Arrest Which Is Set In Motion In Public View Even Though Defendant Retreats Into the Vestibule of Her House Legal ?
In United States v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38, 49 L. Ed. 2d 300, 96 S. Ct. 2406 (1976), the police went to Santana's home based on information that Santana had in her possession marked money which had just been used to make a heroin buy arranged by an undercover agent.
The police officers saw Santana standing in her doorway holding a brown bag, which they suspected contained narcotics.
As they approached her, the officers announced their office and the defendant retreated into the vestibule of her house.
The police officers followed her through the open door and caught her in the vestibule.
The court regarded the threshold of her doorway as a public place because she knowingly exposed herself to public view by choosing to stand in the doorway.
The court held that because the arrest was set in motion in this public place, where she knowingly and voluntarily exposed herself to public view and because there was "hot pursuit", the defendant could not defeat the arrest simply by attempting to escape to the vestibule. Santana, 427 U.S. at 43, 49 L. Ed. 2d at 305, 96 S. Ct. at 2410.