How the law concerning search and seizure and no-knock warrants has evolved.
The “castle doctrine” protects residents from unannounced government intrusion.
English Common Law — Semayne’s Case
The U.S. Constitution bans “unreasonable searches.”
The Fourth Amendment
The Supreme Court says evidence from illegal searches must be excluded from trials.
Weeks v. United States
Prior notice is required before police can force entry.
Miller v. United States
Police need not knock if there is risk of danger or destruction of evidence.
Wilson v. Arkansas
Only “reasonable suspicion” of danger or evidence destruction is needed to force entry.
Richards v. Wisconsin
Police can force entry 15 seconds after knocking.
U.S. v. Banks
No suppression of evidence obtained from illegal searches.
Hudson v. Michigan
The quest for that sweet spot dates from the early 17th century and the “castle doctrine” of English common law, which protected residents from unannounced government intrusions. That ethos was enshrined in the United States Constitution in 1791 with the ratification of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures” and requires that warrants be backed by probable cause.