The 4th Amendment affords the right “of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.”  Thus, there is a presumption of unreasonableness for all warrantless entries into someone’s home.  The government may combat this by demonstrating that there is the existence of probable cause.

The protection of the home extends to the curtilage. That has been defined as the area outside of the home.  So, basically, your yard. However, the courts have held that a traffic stop in the driveway is NOT within the confines of the curtilage.  Another exception is “hot pursuit”.  This exception prohibits a person from fleeing from an officer and taking up shelter in a residence to avoid being followed.  However, there must be actual pursuit in order for the exception to apply.

Keep in mind, that law enforcement may always enter a private dwelling when actual consent has been give.  Consent must be given by a person entitled to give consent.  Thus, if you have issues in your case involving a warrantless entry to a home, make sure your OVI / DUI attorney identifies the key issues related to the case and explores all defenses and exceptions.