Having your door knocked down by the police probably sounds a bit remote, but it happens – and it’s not always legal. When the police knock down the door of a home, it’s typically based on the suspicion of violence or on following a lead related to a significant crime. Nevertheless, there are regulations that the police must abide by before engaging in such serious actions. Know your rights.
If the officers at your door have a warrant, they can break your door down once they’ve knocked and announced themselves (the knock-and-announce rule) and allowed you a reasonable amount of time to respond (which can be as little as 15 to 20 seconds). If, on the other hand, the officers don’t have a warrant and there is no suspicion of domestic violence, the officers probably have no right to break the door down. Whether they have the right or not, however, if you ever find yourself on the receiving end of such an action, it’s in your best interest to remain as calm as you can and to contact your attorney immediately.
Exigency represents an exception to the rule of knock and announce. Exigent circumstances are those situations that can be described as emergencies. If the officers have a permit which states that the house may be harboring drugs and if the officers’ knocks are answered by a flushing toilet – causing them to believe that valuable evidence is being flushed away – the officers don’t have to wait a reasonable amount of time – or at all.
Written permission – granted by a judge – represents another exception to the knock-and-announce rule. In certain drug cases, the courts have excused the knock-and-announce rule (in writing beforehand). This usually transpires when the suspect is known to have large dogs, a security system, or a history of violence. If the court determines that it’s too dangerous for officers to announce their presence, it can grant the officers the ability to break down a door without knocking and announcing themselves.
In the Unlikely Event
In the unlikely event that officers break down your door and enter your home, remain calm (or as calm as you possibly can) and ask for a copy of the warrant, which you will provide to your experienced criminal defense attorney.
If You’re Facing New Jersey Criminal Charges, Call 732-238-8686 for More Information Today
If the police forcefully entered your home by breaking down your door, you know just how traumatizing that can be. Your rights matter; you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. David C. Barry, Attorney at Law, is here to help. Attorney David C. Barry has the experience, knowledge, and commitment to guide your case toward its most positive conclusion. In coordination of your comprehensive defense, David will ensure that you’re comfortable within the process and that you are well apprised of your legal rights and options. If you’re in need of experienced legal counsel, contact or call David today at 732-238-8686.