The Requirement to “Knock and Announce”

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.


By | 2017-09-08T13:50:53+00:00 January 10th, 2017|Legal News|Comments Off on The Requirement to “Knock and Announce”

About the Author:

Dee Wampler
Dee Wampler has practiced law for 50 years has received many awards and honors. As Greene County’s youngest elected Prosecuting Attorney at the age of 29, Wampler’s reputation was quickly established as a leading trial attorney. Dee was an original organizer and first president Crimestoppers. Wampler has published over 250 articles for Law Enforcement Journals, and authored six books: Missouri Criminal Law Handbook; The Trial of Christ; The Myth of Separation Between Church and State; Standing on the Front Line; Defending Yourself Against Cops in Missouri, and other Strange Places; and One Nation Under God. His knowledge of criminal law and trial tactics is widely recognized.