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Hayes v. Florida, 470 U.S. 811 (1985)


After concluding that petitioner was the principal suspect in a burglary-rape committed in Punta Gorda, Florida, the police, without a warrant, went to his home to obtain fingerprints. Arriving at the home, the police spoke to petitioner on his front porch, and when he expressed reluctance to accompany them to the station house, one officer said that they would arrest him. Petitioner replied that he would rather go to the station than be arrested. He was then taken to the station and fingerprinted. When it was determined that his prints matched those taken at the scene of the crime, he was arrested. The trial court denied his pretrial motion to suppress the fingerprint evidence, and he was convicted. The Florida District Court of Appeal affirmed, holding, although finding neither consent by petitioner to be taken to the station nor probable cause to arrest, that the police could transport petitioner to the station house and take his fingerprints on the basis of their reasonable suspicion that he was involved in the crime.

Held: Where there was no probable cause to arrest petitioner, no consent to the journey to the police station, and no prior judicial authorization for detaining him, the investigative detention at the station for fingerprinting purposes violated petitioner’s rights under the Fourth Amendment, as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth; hence, the fingerprints taken were the inadmissible fruits of an illegal detention. Davis v. Mississippi, 394 U. S. 721. When the police, without probable cause or a warrant, forcibly remove a person from his home and transport him to the station, where he is detained, although briefly, for investigative purposes, such a seizure, at least where not under judicial supervision, is sufficiently like an arrest to invoke the traditional rule that arrests may constitutionally be made only on probable cause. Pp. 470 U. S. 813-817.

439 So. 2d 896, reversed.

WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and REHNQUIST STEVENS, and O’CONNOR, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which MARSHALL, J., joined, post, p.  470 U. S. 818. BLACKMUN, J., concurred in the judgment. POWELL, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. 

Page 470 U. S. 812