When individuals in New Jersey are arrested or called into question for committing a crime, it is of the utmost importance that they understand their legal rights. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t know the ins and outs of their rights and often believe that law enforcement officers have free reign to do what they want. Law enforcement officials are required to abide by the laws of New Jersey and protocol set by the State. That being said, if an officer strays from protocol or violates the law, the individual who was arrested or whose home was searched may have a defense.
One of the constitutional protections that few people are unaware of is the “knock and announce” rule. It requires that police officers knock on the door of a home they plan on entering and announce themselves before doing so. The police officers are also required to explain why they are entering the house. Finally, the officers must wait a reasonable amount of time to forcibly enter the home after no one answers the door upon knocking. It is also very important to note that although the knock and announce rule permits law enforcement officers to forcibly enter the home and remain with the suspect, they are not permitted to search the home without a search warrant. They can, however, arrest the suspect if they have an arrest warrant.
There are a few situations allowing the officers to enter the home without announcing their presence. They need not do so when they must enter immediately to preserve evidence, if the officer(s) would be put in additional danger upon making an announcement, or if abiding by the knock and announce rule would cause the arrest to be compromised.
If you believe that your rights were violated during an arrest, contact Rem Katcher Law Group today.