Many people are unaware of the rules the police have to follow when executing a search warrant or the so-called knock and announce rule are.
The knock and announce rule, which is sometimes called the knock a notice rule, requires that when police serve a search warrant, they knock and announce themselves and give the occupants of the premises reasonable time to open the door before they force their way in.
However, there is an exception to the knock and announce rule. This exception has to do with the so-called exigent circumstances. Such circumstances might include:
- Where there is a threat of physical violence
- Where there is reason to believe that evidence would likely be destroyed.
- Where knocking and announcing would be dangerous or “futile.”
In such situations, the law allows them to force entry right away. An example would be a kidnapped victim or hostage inside the residence or if drugs were being destroyed.
The law imposes many rules on police in terms of their power to conduct searches and seizures. The truth is that the police often break these rules and violate your rights.
Your Rights During a Police Encounter at Your Home
If the police come and knock on your door, you don’t have to let them in. The law does not require that you respond to the police as they knock on your door. However, if the police have a warrant signed by a judge, that’s a different story and you’ll have to let them in. The threat of a warrant, however, is not enough to get the police in and to compel you to cooperate with them.
If the police are at your home you are not required to consent to them searching your home or entering your home. This also applies to automobiles parked there and other buildings that are close to your house or buildings that might be attached to your home.
If you happen to be arrested in your home, the police are allowed to search the area immediately around you or to seize evidence of a crime that they see in plain view. You also have the absolute right to remain silent because police encounters are always being recorded with body cam video, and everything you say during a police encounter at your home can be used against you in court.
During the arrest, remember to remain calm and in control of your emotions and immediately ask for a lawyer.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime based on illegal police activity, contact Mark Shayani of Pacific Attorney Group. He can provide a free consultation in office or by phone and is available to answer any question you may have.