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Warrants – No-Knock Rule – Unoccupied Premises

State v. Dennis Moslavac, 230 Wis. 2d 338, 602 N.W.2d 150 (Ct. App. 1999)
For Moslavac: Michael S. Holzman.

Issue/Holding: The knock-and-announce rule does not apply when the target premises are unoccupied.

Police have authority to forcibly execute a search warrant when the premises are unoccupied. It follows that the knock-and-announce rule doesn’t apply to unoccupied premises, the purposes of the rule not being served if no one’s there. The court observes, though, that “the police will operate at their peril if they do not knock and announce and the premises prove to be occupied by one with standing to challenge the entry and search. In such a situation, the evidence is subject to suppression absent other exceptions to the suppression rule.”

 

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