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question.jpgIn Criminal Law

Can police conduct a warrantless search if there is an imminent destruction of evidence?

Yes. Where police have probable cause to believe contraband is present and, based on the surrounding circumstances or the information at hand, they reasonably conclude that the evidence will be destroyed or removed before they can secure a warrant, a warrantless search is justified. Factors to consider in these situations include the degree of urgency involved and the amount of time necessary to obtain a warrant; a reasonable belief that the contraband is about to be removed; the possibility of danger to police officers guarding the site of the contraband while a search warrant is sought; information indicating the possessors of the contraband are aware that the police are on their trail; and the ready destructibility of the contraband.