I read with interest a recent article from the Daytona Beach News Journal of a case where the court ruled that the State prosecutor’s office could not use any evidence in a case of drugs and contraband that were obtained by the police through the execution of a search warrant on a house. The trial court ruled that law enforcement had violated what is referred to as the ‘knock-and-announce’ provision of the statute under Florida law that outlines the requirement that law enforcement must first knock and announce their presence and give the homeowner sufficient time to come to the entrance before entering and serving a search warrant.
The Court, at a pre-trial hearing, determined that the law enforcement officer, prior to entry of the person’s home, did not give the homeowner sufficient time to make his way to the front door before the officers breached the entrance. There are exceptions to this requirement, such as if the officers have a legitimate concern of officer safety, or if there is reasonable concern that evidence may be destroyed. The rule of knocking and announcing their presence has been a long standing principle in our country, dating back to and an extension of our common law roots from England.
If you have a case where your home or business has been searched and items taken by law enforcement through the execution of a search warrant, and would like to discuss your rights, please give our office a call at 386.257.1222.
Posted December 15, 2014