Emergency Aid Doctrine

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In the US the Emergency Aid Doctrine is an exception to the Fourth Amendment, allowing warrantless entry to premises if "exigent circumstances" make it necessary.


A number of exceptions are classified under the general heading of criminal enforcement:

  • Where evidence of a suspected crime is in danger of being lost.
  • Where the police officers are in hot pursuit.
  • Where there is a probability that a suspect will flee before a warrant can be obtained.

Community response[edit]

  • Where a person is in need of assistance.
  • Where entry is required to prevent harm to a person.

In deciding whether such entry was legal, courts will consider whether a reasonable and prudent person would have considered there was need to make an immediate entry.

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