Officers obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s home to look for controlled substances. Before entering, the officers announced their presence, but waited only three to five seconds before using force to enter.
Whether a violation of the “knock-and-announce” rule (18 U.S.C. § 3109) requires the suppression of all evidence found in the search.
No. The Court found the exclusionary rule inapplicable in these kinds of violations.
The Court commented that “[S]uppression of evidence, however, has always been our last resort, not our first impulse.” It should only be applied when other options are ineffective. The Court also stated that “[T]he interests protected by the knock-andannounce requirement are quite different—and do not include the shielding of potential evidence from the government’s eyes.” As the statute does not protect one’s reasonable expectation of privacy the Court concluded that the exclusionary rule is inapplicable in cases where this law is violated.
The government obtains little advantage in its endeavors to ferret out criminal activity by ignoring the knock-and-announce requirement. The possible prevention of the destruction of evidence or the avoidance of violence by occupants of the premises are the likely result, but no new evidence. Therefore, the Court found that “civil liability is an effective deterrent” to address violations of the knock-and-announce rule.
547 U.S. 1096, 126 S. Ct. 2159 (2006)