Under most circumstances, even if officers have a search warrant, they have to announce themselves and their purpose before entering a home. This “knock-notice” or “knock and announce” is rooted in the Fourth Amendment’s protections and also many state laws.
The knock notice rule requires in most instances that officers not enter a dwelling without permission until the occupant has refused to let them in or the they have waited a reasonable amount of time without receiving a response.
As with most legal rules, there are exceptions to the general rule of knock and announce before entering to search a home. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that officers don’t need to give notice or knock and announce themselves when there’s a threat of violence or reason to believe the occupants will destroy evidence if given notice of the impending search.
If you have questions about the search warrant process, please contact us for a consultation.
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