skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 215111     Find in a Library
Title: Knock and Talks
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Jayme W. Holcomb J.D.
  Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:75  Issue:8  Dated:August 2006  Pages:22 to 32
Date Published: 08/2006
Page Count: 11
  Annotation: This article explores the legal issues associated with the police technique of “knock and talks,” which is a noncustodial police encounter with a citizen at their residence.
Abstract: Knock and talks involve police officers knocking on a residence door and asking to speak with the occupants. Officers may also ask permission to search the residence. This technique is practiced in the absence of an arrest or search warrant and is considered a consensual encounter between police and citizens. This practice can be lawful, yet carries a great risk for abuse. Officers are cautioned that if illegal activity is suspected, it is always preferable to investigate for reasonable cause and obtain a search warrant. The author addresses the general rule for knock and talks before delving into the legal aspects of approaching a residence and its occupants without a warrant. Knock and talks are examined for their potential to violate the fourth amendment rights of citizens to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” However, Federal and State courts have ruled that knock and talks do not violate fourth amendment rights if they are conducted properly. The legal aspects of particular components of the knock and talk are explored, including how the home is approached by officers, the way the knock on the door sounds, the time of day, the duration of the encounter, and the number of officers present. Generally, courts examine every aspect of a knock and talk for any hint that the reasonable person would not feel free to decline the officers’ requests. Several court cases are described to illustrate the main legal questions involved in police initiated knock and talks. Endnotes
Main Term(s): Warrantless search ; Police-citizen interactions
Index Term(s): State courts ; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties ; State supreme courts
Publisher URL: 
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.