State v. Caronna

The New Jersey Appellate Division aptly summed up the question answered in this lengthy opinion: Does the exclusionary rule under the New Jersey Constitution apply to an unconstitutional and flagrant violation of a search warrant’s knock-and-announce requirement? Officers secured a warrant that required they knock-and-announce before entering an apartment. Nearby, they found a suspect and detained him. They then went to the apartment subject to the warrant, opened the unlocked door, and walked into the defendant’s bedroom, where she was naked from the waist down. That’s when the officers announced their presence. In Hudson v. Michigan, the United States Supreme Court held, in a sharply divided decision, that the exclusionary rule is not a necessary remedy for knock-and-announce violations. But Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution generally provides greater protection against unreasonable searches and seizures than the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Here, the Appellate Division held that the exclusionary rule applies where police violate Article I, Paragraph 7 by unreasonably and unjustifiably ignoring a search warrant requirement that they knock and announce their presence before entering a dwelling. Therefore, the Court affirmed the suppression of drugs found during the search.

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