Legal Word of the Day: “Exigent Circumstances”

“Exigent Circumstances”

— Compelling and urgent circumstances that justify actions that would otherwise not be acceptable.

Under common law, police may conduct a search without a warrant in certain situations, inherent to the circumstances of an arrest. These include imminent danger of the loss, removal, destruction or disappearance of evidence, or of harm to police officers, or others.

Related Information & Cases
  • Maritime Law Book Ltd. case summary for CanLII Connects: R. v. MacDonald (E.) 2014 SCC 3
  • R. v. Fearon, 2014 SCC 77 – Warrant not needed to search cellphones: Supreme Court
  • An eviction goes haywire:
    “Was s. 8 of the Charter breached when the police entered the appellant’s ‘private residence’ or when they opened the gun cases, then waited about six hours in the premises prior to the obtaining of the warrant?”
    R. v. Stevens, 2011 ONCA 504 (CanLII)
  • R. v. Kelsy, 2011 ONCA 605 (CanLII)
  • R. v. Stillman, 1997 CanLII 384 (SCC), [1997] 1 S.C.R. 607

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