If the police want to search your property, you might expect them to notify you and serve you with a warrant first. However, the increasing use of ‘no-knock warrants’ means that more people are being subject to aggressive searches with no prior warning. Sadly, these incidents can have tragic consequences, particularly if officers aren’t adequately trained.
If you’ve been subject to a no-knock warrant, there’s a chance that your civil rights might have been infringed and, if so, you could be eligible to claim compensation. Read on to learn more about no-knock warrants and what you can do to ensure your rights are upheld:
What Are No-Knock Warrants?
In most situations, police officers must provide you with a search warrant prior to searching your priority, but no-knock warrants enable officers to enter and search a property without serving a warranty first. Essentially, they don’t have to alert you to their presence or notify you that they’ll be entering your property.
In practice, this means that police or SWAT teams often enter a property quickly and aggressively when carrying out no-knock searches. Understandably, this can cause alarm and distress to people in or around the property, particularly if they’ve done nothing wrong.
When Are No-Knock Warrants Used?
No knock warrants are only supposed to be used in a very narrow set of circumstances. A judge can issue a no-knock warrant if an imminent threat to law enforcement exists on the property, for example. Alternatively, a no-knock warrant can be issued if it’s believed that evidence may be destroyed if police officers serve a warrant prior to conducting a search.
Although search reforms are underway, the increasing use (and potential overuse) of no-knock warrants have resulted in more people being subject to sudden and unforeseen searches.
What Are the Consequences of No-Knock Warrants?
When police enter a priority under a no-knock warrant, the situation is fast-paced and stressful for everyone involved. Officers need to make split-second decisions regarding any potential threats which may be present and, if they make an incorrect risk assessment, it can have devastating consequences.
If a police officer incorrectly perceives a threat while carrying out a no-knock warrant, for example, they may fire a weapon that harms or even kills innocent persons on the property. Due to this, it’s essential that the use of no-knock warrants is kept to a minimum and that the incorrect use of these warrants is prevented.
Making a Claim Following a No-Knock Warrant
With help from experienced lawyers at RomanucciBlandin, you can claim compensation for no-knock warrants and ensure that any infringement of your civil rights doesn’t go unpunished. Whether you’ve been physically injured in the course of a no-knock search or you’ve experienced emotional distress due to the incorrect use of a no-knock warrant, taking legal action can provide you with financial compensation for the harm you’ve incurred. In addition to this, making a compensation claim for a no-knock warrant or search can help to highlight the increasing use of these warrants and prevent them from being overused in the future.