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NCJ Number: 165864 Find in a Library
Title: Fourth Amendment: Must Police Knock and Announce Themselves Before Kicking in the Door of a House?
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:86  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1996)  Pages:1229-1264
Author(s): M Josephson
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 36
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note critiques the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Wilson v. Arkansas, 115 S. Ct. 1814 (1995), which addressed the issue of whether an unannounced entry by police armed with a search warrant violates the fourth amendment.
Abstract: The Court held that under some circumstances an unannounced entry by police acting under the authority of a search warrant will violate the fourth amendment. The Court's holding was based entirely on historical grounds. After reviewing the history of the knock-and-announce rule, the Court held that police failure to announce their authority and purpose prior to a forced entry is merely a factor in a fourth amendment reasonableness determination. This note argues that the Court should have held that unannounced entries are presumptively unreasonable under fourth amendment standards. Police should be allowed to enter a home only when they know that the occupants are already aware of the officers' authority and purpose, or when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific articulable facts, that an announced entry would result in danger to the officers or destruction of evidence. By balancing the state's interest in unannounced entries against the occupants' fourth amendment interests, this note concludes that the proposed rule would better protect the interests served by the knock-and-announce rule. 311 footnotes
Main Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions
Index Term(s): No-knock warrants; Search and seizure laws; Search warrants
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