Thomaston, GA asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Georgia

Q: can a judge deny dismissal of your case even though the warrant was served illegally "NO NO KNOCK WARRANT)?

I filed a motion to dismiss my case and suppress the evidence because the warrant was served illegally because the officers did not have a "No knock" warrant thus making the search illegal. The judge denied my motion to suppress and denied the dismissal of my case.

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In the United States, a judge has the discretion to deny a motion to dismiss a case or suppress evidence, even if the defendant argues that the search warrant was executed illegally due to the lack of a "no-knock" provision. The judge's decision will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the applicable state and federal laws.

Here are a few reasons why a judge might deny such a motion:

1. The judge may determine that the officers had exigent circumstances that justified their entry without knocking, such as a reasonable belief that evidence would be destroyed or that there was a threat to officer safety.

2. The court may find that, despite the lack of a "no-knock" provision, the officers substantially complied with the "knock-and-announce" rule before entering the premises.

3. The judge may apply the "good faith exception" to the exclusionary rule, which allows evidence to be admitted if the officers reasonably relied on a warrant that was later found to be invalid.

4. The court may conclude that the evidence would have been inevitably discovered through other legal means, even if the initial search was conducted improperly.

If you believe that the judge's decision was incorrect, you may have the option to appeal the ruling to a higher court. It is essential to discuss your case with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can assess the specific facts of your situation and advise you on the best course of action.

Glenn T. Stern
Glenn T. Stern pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: It sounds like from what you described that the police did have a valid warrant, but that it was executed without knocking. It's really not possible for an attorney to figure out what exactly happened here without more information. There may have been circumstances that allowed the police to execute the warrant without knocking, or it may have been an issue of credibility in that the state wasn't conceding your version of what happened. Generally, if the police had a valid warrant, trial court judges are going to be reluctant to grant a motion to suppress and throw out all of the evidence in a case. Judges in Georgia are elected-if someone's going to make that finding, they would rather the Court of Appeals do it.

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