Court: Police must wait after knocking for search

April 15, 2008 1:12:56 PM PDT
A Camden County man gets a new trial because police didn't wait long enough after knocking before forcing their way into his apartment for a search.

That's the ruling of a state appellate court, which says that by waiting only 20 to 30 seconds the police turned their knock-and-announce warrant into a no-knock warrant.

No-knock warrants are issued when officers certify that the suspect may be dangerous.

Here, a squad organized by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, only had a knock-and-announce warrant when it went to the apartment of James Robinson in Hi-Nella.

Officers found cocaine and Robinson was convicted of drug possession.

The ruling also excludes that evidence. The prosecutor's office had no immediate comment.