Manitowoc, WI asked in Criminal Law for Wisconsin

Q: If a knock and announce warrant was excuted without announcement is it still valid?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Brady R. Henderson

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: In practical terms, the failure of officers to "knock and announce" does not usually mean that evidence taken or discovered from serving the warrant can be suppressed or excluded. The US Supreme Court took up this question in a case called Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U.S. 586 (2006), and affirmed that with rare exceptions, a failure to knock and announce does not allow a court to throw out evidence seized.

However, there are definitely many circumstances in which a failure to knock and announce can be the basis of a tort or civil rights lawsuit, but this will usually be limited to damage or injuries resulting from the failure to knock and announce. For example, a law enforcement agency could be made to pay the cost of fixing damage to property such as a door, or the medical bills of a person injured because of the agency's failure to attempt to serve the warrant without force or violence.

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