Crosby v. Commonwealth

In Crosby v. Commonwealth, 6 Va. App. 193, 367 S.E.2d 730 (1988), the Court held a limited "securing the premises" exception to the warrant requirement is available to law enforcement when necessary to preserve evidence and ensure their safety. The criteria for applying this exception includes: the police must: (1) have probable cause to believe evidence is on the premises; (2) believe delaying entry would create a substantial risk that the evidence will be lost or destroyed; (3) not create their own exigencies. Id. at 201, 367 S.E.2d at 735. "'In determining whether . . . circumstances were sufficient to overcome the presumption of unreasonableness and justify a warrantless entry, the court must examine the circumstances as they reasonably appeared to the law enforcement officers on the scene when the decision to enter was made.'" Crosby, 6 Va. App. at 201, 367 S.E.2d at 735 Because only a "limited security check of the premises for people who might destroy evidence is warranted" under this exception, the circumstances justifying entry are not as stringent as the "exigent circumstances" requirement. Id. The Court found that where an officer told a suspect that he was going to get a search warrant to search the suspect's home, and then asked the suspect for the key to his apartment, the suspect's act of turning over the key to the officer did not constitute consent to search the apartment. The Court noted that the officer "never requested to search the apartment" and that "acquiescence is not consent." Crosby, 6 Va. App. at 198-99, 367 S.E.2d at 733-34.