State v. Jordan, 242 N.C. App. 464 (Aug. 4, 2015)

In this drug case, the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a warrantless search of her residence. According to the court: “The trial court’s findings that the officers observed a broken window, that the front door was unlocked, and that no one responded when the officers knocked on the door are insufficient to show that they had an objectively reasonable belief that a breaking and entering had recently taken place or was still in progress, such that there existed an urgent need to enter the property” and that the search was justified under the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement. It continued:

In this case, the only circumstances justifying the officers’ entry into defendant’s residence were a broken window, an unlocked door, and the lack of response to the officers’ knock at the door. We hold that although these findings may be sufficient to give the officers a reasonable belief that an illegal entry had occurred at some point, they are insufficient to give the officers an objectively reasonable belief that a breaking and entering was in progress or had occurred recently.