The investigating officer arrived at the Defendant's house to investigate a possible DUII involving an accident. The officer believed the driver of the vehicle was inside the house, but did not have a warrant to search the house, nor did he have probable cause to enter. At the motion to suppress hearing, the officer testified that the Defendant's mother voluntarily consented to allow the officer inside the house and enter the Defendant's closed bedroom. The Defendant's mother, who answered the door, also testified at the motion hearing and testified that the officer ordered his way into the house, and no voluntary consent to enter was ever given. The Judge ruled in the Defendant's favor, finding that the investigating officer did not have lawful authority to enter the home and the Defendant's bedroom. The home is provided special protection under the law. To lawfully enter a private home, the police need either a search warrant or the entrance needs to be authorized under an exception to the warrant requirement which the State could not prove. Motions to suppress evidence are how we challenge the lawfulness of police action, and here the Judge correctly found that the police had exceeded the bounds of the law. The case was properly dismissed.
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