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Richards v. Wisconsin

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Procedure keyed to Israel

Citation. Richards v. Wis., 520 U.S. 385, 117 S. Ct. 1416, 137 L. Ed. 2d 615, 1997 U.S. LEXIS 2794, 65 U.S.L.W. 4283, 97 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3041, 97 Daily Journal DAR 5324, 10 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 422 (U.S. Apr. 28, 1997)

Brief Fact Summary. Police, suspecting a felony drug violation, executed a search warrant at petitioner Richards’ hotel room while failing to “knock and announce.”ť

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Not knocking and announcing is allowable under the Fourth Amendment as long as the decision to do so is reasonable under the circumstances.


Facts. Police obtained a warrant to search petitioner’s hotel room on suspicion that he had committed felonious crime of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. The officers did not knock and announce prior to entering the room, and searched and ended up seizing drugs. They knocked on the door claiming to be a maintenance man, and then kicked in the door when the petitioner tried to slam it upon seeing that they were police. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court held for the state, expressing their view that there is no knock and announce requirement when they are executing a search warrant in a felony drug investigation because there is reasonable cause to believe exigent circumstances exist. Petitioner then sought certiorari.

Issue. Is knocking and announcing your presence ever required under the Fourth Amendment for police officers executing a search warrant in a felony drug investigation?

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