You know that, as a citizen, you have a right to privacy in many ways. But what happens if you were committing a serious crime and the cops suspect that you play a role in this dangerous crime? You may wonder if cops have the right to force their way into your home by breaking down your door, especially if they believe you are hiding from the law.
As a general rule, no, the cops are not allowed to break down your door in a forced entry. Officers are always required to knock, announce their presence, and wait for you to answer the door yourself. This is known as the “knock-and-announce” role, which gives you an opportunity to respond before the situation turns violent. However, when you do not come to the door, then officers do have a right to make a forced entry. This is only when they have waited a reasonable amount of time for you to answer the door, making it legal or illegal.
Exceptions to the Knock and Announce Rule
As with many laws, there are also exceptions to the knock and announce rule. Exigent circumstances is one of these exceptions. These are circumstances that apply in an emergency situation. An emergency situation could be when the officers want to search for drugs in the house, so they knock and then hear flushing, as if you are flushing the evidence. They are then permitted to make an entrance without waiting for you to answer. If a person is in danger, then the officers have a right to make an entrance at any cost.
The second situation is when the officers are given permission to enter, specifically by a judge. Officers are permitted to speak to a judge about why it is dangerous to announce their presence, like if the defendant has large dogs or a security system. He could then grant permission for the officers to enter unannounced. Of course, this only happens in situations where fears are justified.
Because there are so many different situations that could apply to these cases, it is important to speak to an attorney well-versed in the many laws in these circumstances. Give us a call today at The Law Office of Peter Blair for more information on your case.