Richards V Wisconsin

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Richards v. Wisconsin, 520 U.S. 385 (1997) FACTS: Madison, Wisconsin police officers obtained a search warrant for Richards’ hotel room because they had suspicion that he was committing the felony crime of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. The police officers failed to “knock and announce” prior to entering the hotel room where they ended up seizing drugs, they approached the hotel room claiming to be maintenance. Once Richards’ saw the police officers at the door, he tried to shut the door and the officers kicked it in. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court expressed the view that when you are executing a search warrant in a felony drug investigation, there is no “knock and announce” requirement. Richards sought to appeal the case and was granted certiorari. ISSUE: Did the police officers violate Richards’ 4th Amendment rights by failing to “knock and announce” before entering his hotel room to execute a search warrant? ANALYSIS: Richards was convicted in the Dane County Circuit Court of possession of cocaine base with intent to deliver. The Court of Appeals affirmed and Richards wanted another review. Certiorari was granted and Richards’s case was sent to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Richards felt that his 4th Amendment rights were violated when the officers entered his hotel room on December 31, 1991 at approximately 3:40 a.m. because the officers failed to properly “knock and announce” themselves. The officers who entered did have a search warrant and had requested advance authorization to not knock prior to entering the room but the Magistrate that wrote the warrant purposely left that part out. While the 4th Amendment does not allow for a blanket exception to the “knock and announce” rule, there are certain situations where a “no knock” entry can apply. To justify the “no knock” entry, the

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