No, police officers cannot enter your home to execute a search warrant without knocking.
As of March 2021, Virginia Code §19.2-56(B) provides, “No law-enforcement officer shall seek, execute, or participate in the execution of a no-knock search warrant.”
How a Police Officer Should Execute a Search Warrant of Your Home
According to Virginia law, a search warrant for a place where someone lives requires a law-enforcement officer to:
- Be recognizable and identifiable as a uniformed law-enforcement officer
- Provide audible notice of their authority and purpose. This notice needs to be reasonably designed to be heard by occupants of the place to be searched before the search begins
- Provide a copy of the search warrant and affidavit to the person to be searched or the owner of the place to be searched. If the owner is not present, then the search warrant and affidavit may be provided to any occupant. If no occupants are present, the law enforcement officer should leave a copy of the search warrant and affidavit in a visible place. These copies should be provided after the law enforcement officer enters and secures the location but before the officer conducts the search.
Generally, search warrants of homes should be executed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. unless: (1) the court authorizes execution of the search warrant at another time for good cause, or (2) the law-enforcement officer lawfully entered and secured the location and remained their continuously.
Any evidence obtained in a way that violates the law cannot be used against you in court.
Make Sure Your Rights are Protected
Our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers will carefully examine the search warrant and ask you detailed questions about what happened when the police came to execute the warrant. If any part of the law was violated, we will argue that the evidence gathered should not be used in your criminal case.
You deserve all of the protections offered by Virginia law. Contact us today to learn more about what you can do to protect your legal rights in a Virginia criminal case. We welcome your phone call, online chat, or completed contact form at any time.