Search Warrant Delay of 15 to 20 Seconds Between Knock/Announce & Residential Entry Ok – State v. Rodriguez

In this morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Rodriguez, the Court ruled that when serving a residential search warrant, a delay of 15 to 20 seconds between the time the police knock and announce their presence and make entry is reasonable under New Jersey law. The Court listed a number of factors in deciding upon the reasonableness of the time that must pass between knock/announce and residential entry. These include time of day (morning as opposed to middle of the night), nature of the investigation (drugs as opposed to evidence that cannot be easily secreted) and the known elements of danger to the police.

Of additional significance in this case are substantial dicta indicating that the New Jersey Constitution would require suppression as a sanction to law enforcement in those instances where the police violate the knock and announce rule requiring a reasonable period of time between knock/announce and entry. This is important since the United States Supreme Court held last year that under the IVth Amendment, knock and announce violations do not require the suppression of evidence recovered from the residence as a result of the ensuing search.

Download a copy of State v. Rodriguez.

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