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Old February 5, 2009, 09:50 PM   #17
mskdgunman
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Join Date: December 28, 2008
Posts: 127
Having served my share of warrants, I can tell you that, in Florida at least, there is no such thing as a "No knock warrant". The knock and announce as we call it is always the cause for any suppression hearings...did you wait long enough, what time was it, what were the conditions, what kind of violation were you serving the warrant for.

The only time we have ever entered a house without knocking is when we get compromised on the approach. The doper looks out the window and is like "oh S@#t, the cops" and ducks back inside...no knock required. They know we're there and are apparently no willing to let us in.

If I was to attempt to put a no knock clause in a warrant, the SAO would not approve it and even if they did, none of our judges would sign it. We err on the side of caution. There is no established wait time in Florida (the law says a "reasonable" time) well, that depends on the situation. An indoor marijuana grow with no violent suspects...I'll give you a while. It's not like you can flush a bunch of plants. A robbery warant on a bunch of armed gang bangers...not much wait at all (if any). Reasonable is a suitably vague legal term but I would rather have that then be told that I have to wait at least a minute (or longer) no matter what...lots a bad can happen in a minute

As far as them not offering or wanting to search your house, if there were no signs of forced entry and no K-9's were sniffing around an entry point, I can see why. Had there been an open window to your house or other signs that someone may have covertly entered, they more then likely would have searched it prior to your arrival or at least put a perimeter around it and had dispatch attempt to get contact numbers for the property owner to get permission and determine if any legitimate persons were inside but in an exigent circumstance, they would have gone in. I've done it in the past. We'll announce "Police" to hell and gone as we come in (just like on a search warrant). I don't want to get shot by accident by a homeowner and don't really want to shoot a good guy who just happens to get surprised when I come around the corner

They probably would have cleared your hosue if you had asked them to but you may have had to wait. My bet is they were on an assigned perimeter and really couldn't leave a post for something that was basically a non emergency. You did the right thing and appear to have done it well
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