When does “knock and announce” not apply?

The Fourth Amendment requires all police officers “knock and announce” their identity and purpose entry into your house or apartment even with a search warrant.¹

The “no-knock entry” is always present in felony drug cases, especially where there is an extremely high risk of serious, if not deadly injury to police, as well as potential for the disposal of drugs by the occupants. It is left to trail courts to determine the circumstances under which an “unannounced entry” is reasonable.²

Simply put, the rule was that cops need not have specific information about dangerousness or the possibility of destruction of drugs in a particular case. Notwithstanding they still cannot dispense with the knock and announce requirement.

All seems to be fair in “love, war, and felony drug searches,” but otherwise there must be a strong exception and reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing would be dangerous or futile and would inhibit effective investigation of the crime, i.e., destruction of evidence. Thus, it’s not a question of just “knock or no-knock.” It’s a question of “knock and announce” so police in a loud voice should say “police – search warrant!”

So – be warned!


¹Wilson v Arkansas, 514 US 927 (1995).
²Richards v Wisconsin, 520 US 385.