Legal Dictionary

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Exigent Circumstances

An exigency is a situation that requires immediate action. An exigent circumstance is a situation in which a police officer must take immediate action to make an arrest or conduct a search without a search warrant. Exigent circumstances include:

  • Evidence is about to be destroyed,
  • A suspect is about to escape, or
  • Someone's safety or life is at risk.

If evidence is gathered as a result of exigent circumstances without a warrant, it will probably be admissible. Exigent Circumstances are also referred to as “emergency circumstances” and “special circumstances.”