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United States v. Banks

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 540 U.S. 31, 124 S. Ct. 521, 157 L. Ed. 2d 343 (2003)

Brief Fact Summary. Law enforcement officials arrived at the defendant’s home, announced their presence and their warrant, knocked loudly, waited, and then broke open the door.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. “[W]here the officers knocked and announced their presence, and forcibly entered after a reasonable suspicion of exigency had ripened, their entry satisfied Section:3109 as well as the Fourth Amendment, even without refusal of admittance.”

Facts. Las Vegas Police and FBI agents arrived at the defendant’s home with a warrant to search his apartment for drugs. Police officers in front announced that they had a warrant, and then knocked loudly enough to be heard by police officers at the back door. After waiting 15-20 seconds, and with no indication as to whether or not the defendant was home, the police opened the door with a battering. The defendant was in the shower, and claimed not to have heard anything until the door was broken open.

Issue. “[W]hether their 15-to-20-second wait before a forcible entry satisfied the Fourth Amendment and 18 U. S. C. Section:3109.”

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