NJ: Flagrant knock-and-announce violation requires suppression under state constitution

A flagrant violation of the knock-and-announce rule violates the state constitution and the result is excluded. Violating the knock-and-announce requirement makes the search warrantless. The court recognizes the Fourth Amendment rule is contra. State v. Caronna, 2021 N.J. Super. LEXIS 137 (Nov. 3, 2021):

We hold that the exclusionary rule applies where police violate Article I, Paragraph 7 by unreasonably and unjustifiably ignoring a search warrant requirement that they knock and announce their presence before entering a dwelling. We also conclude that no exception to the exclusionary rule applies here, especially because of the flagrant violation. New Jersey’s Constitution “provides greater protection against unreasonable searches and seizures than the Fourth Amendment.” State v. Carter, 247 N.J. 488, 504, 255 A.3d 1139 (2021). Compliance with a knock-and-announce warrant requirement is a critical predicate for a reasonable search under our State Constitution. It is simply objectively unreasonable—without justification—for police to ignore a knock-and-announce requirement contained in a warrant that they requested and obtained. Ignoring the requirement contravenes the search and seizure rights of New Jersey residents. Our holding comports with New Jersey’s Article I, Paragraph 7 law; effectively deters police from flagrantly violating knock-and-announce search warrant requirements; safeguards against unconstitutional, unreasonable, and illegal searches and seizures under New Jersey law; and, importantly, upholds the rule of law and integrity of our administration of justice.

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