People v Frederick Limits Knock And Announce By Police
Recently, in People v Frederick the Michigan Supreme Court limited police in their use of knock and announce procedures. Under constitutional interpretation, Courts in the past have consistently upheld the police using knock and announce procedures. What is knock and announce, you may ask? This is the process or procedure where police will approach someone’s home in a legal and low intrusive manner, and then they will proceed to knock and announce their presence at the individual’s home. Generally, police will then begin questioning and investigating whatever issue or matter brought them to this residence to perform their knock and announce.
The reasoning there is no issue for police performing knock and announce by approaching an individual’s front door on their private property is due to old traditionally belief that there is an implied license this type of approach to another’s home. This is synonymous with other individuals, such as solicitors, delivery drivers, the general public, etc. that approach individual’s home without consent or invites. When the police are simply performing a knock and announce, they are not violating the 4th Amendment of the Constitution; however, each situation is based upon the given circumstances to the individual cases examined by court.
The underlying issue with this case was whether the timing of the knock and announce was outside the scope of the traditional norms and constitutionality of such a fact gathering procedure. In People v Frederick, the police performed the knock and announce at 5:30 in the morning, which was the key issue to the finding by the court that the police performed an unconstitutional act upon the individual defendant’s home. The reasoning that the knock and announce in this case was a constitutional violation ultimately hinged on the court finding that by the police arriving at such an early hour, waking all individuals in the home, they were actually trespassing. So, when you look to the analysis required by prior precedent and you couple police trespassing and gathering facts for an investigation, the police have violated the Constitution and performed a search.
The constitutionality of police actions and procedures are always being debated and pushed to the limits. This is only one of the many reasons you should always lawyer-up. Moreover, you should never rely on information posted on this website or any other website online when wanting, deciding or trying to represent yourself before any legal body, court, or representative in this State or otherwise without obtaining legal counsel and advice.