No-knock search warrants are a hot-button topic for the legal system.
What are they, and when does the court deem it necessary to issue one?
When will the court issue a warrant?
The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure, but the police can access private property through a search warrant. In Illinois, the court will typically issue a warrant allowing police to enter a place to search it without consent in cases that involve illegal weapons, drug possession and distribution, kidnapping, stolen property, and more.
A condition of a standard search warrant is that police must knock and announce themselves to the property owners or occupants.
What is a no-knock search warrant?
A no-knock search warrant eliminates the requirement to knock and announce under the condition that announcing police presence significantly increases the possibility that the person inside the property would destroy evidence or arm themselves to attack the police.
What are the restrictions on no-knock warrants in Illinois?
Given the recent scrutiny against no-knock warrants, Illinois placed new restrictions through policies and laws to ensure law enforcement does not abuse their use. For example, officers must wear operational body cameras or record the search in some other way. Additionally, officers must take steps to ensure they have the correct property and that they are no vulnerable parties, such as children or elderly people, on the property when executing the warrant.
Any evidence obtained during an unlawful no-knock search warrant execution is not admissible in court, and the occupant could potentially sue for damages.