Exceptions to the rule that a law enforcement agent must first obtain a warrant before conducting a search or an arrest.
As it is the case that in every general rule there must be an exception. There are also exceptions to the fact that a law enforcement officer cannot legally search or arrest you without a search or an arrest warrant but these can only come into play on some peculiar occasions.
Recall that in one of our previous posts, we wrote that a law enforcement agent in the execution of his statutory duties of search and arrest must be conscious of the fact that citizens have rights to privacy and dignity of human person as provided in the constitution, hence the reason the police officer must first obtain a warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction before breaking into the home of a citizen to carry out a search or carrying out an arrest, if not such search or arrest conducted will be deemed illegal and void.
But there are exceptions to this rule as we earlier highlighted. We will be discussing some of these exceptions here:
A police officer can arrest or conduct a search on an individual when the officer has every reason to believe that such individual has committed a crime or broken a law and the law creating such offense does not prohibit a search or arrest without warrant.
Secondly, a police officer or other law enforcement agents can search and arrest an individual if that individual commits a crime or breaks a law in the presence of the law enforcement agent.
Moreso, a police officer or other law enforcement agents can arrest a person without a warrant if that person obstructs the law enforcement agent from carrying out his duty.
Law enforcement agents can also arrest an individual without a warrant if that individual escapes or attempts to escape from lawful custody.
A law enforcement agent can arrest or conduct a search on a person if the person who is reasonably believed to have stolen an item is still in possession of the item he’s accused of stealing.
A law enforcement agent can also arrest an individual without a warrant when the person is suspected to be a deserter of the Nigerian armed forces or a “run away soldier”.
Finally, law enforcement agents can also arrest an individual without a warrant when a person is reasonably suspected to be concealing himself in order to commit a crime or when a person is reasonably suspected to be planning to commit a crime.
These are some of the peculiar situations where a law enforcement agent can arrest an individual or conduct a search on an individual without an arrest warrant or a search warrant and the arrest made or search conducted will still be legal.