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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: G034132
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/26/2005

Officers substantially complied with the knock-notice requirement of the Fourth Amendment when they waited 25-35 seconds after knocking to enter the defendant’s house, and 30 seconds to enter his garage. The search warrant was based on information that the defendant had been dealing drugs out of his house, and the United States Supreme Court has held that the relevant inquiry in such cases is not how long it would take a reasonable person to reach the door, but how much opportunity a longer wait will give a suspected drug dealer to dispose of evidence. The entry at issue took place at seven a.m., at which time officers could have reasonably believed that people in the house were awake and out of bed. Under the circumstances, the officers substantially complied with the knock-notice requirement. The court also found that a sealed attachment to the affidavit in support of the search warrant properly remained sealed, but cautioned against the practice of returning such sealed affidavits to police. Instead, they should remain a part of the trial record.