Depending on the circumstances, Iowa Code chapter 808 allows reasonable force in the execution of search warrants and the detention of individuals who may pose a danger to law enforcement during the search.
808.6 FORCIBLE EXECUTION.
The officer may break into any structure or vehicle where
reasonably necessary to execute the warrant if, after notice of this
authority and purpose the officer's admittance has not been
immediately authorized. The officer may use reasonable force to enter
a structure or vehicle to execute a search warrant without notice of
the officer's authority and purpose in the case of vacated or
abandoned structures or vehicles.
The officer executing a search warrant may break restraints when
necessary for the officer's own liberation or to effect the release
of a person who has entered a place to aid the officer.
808.7 DETENTION AND SEARCH OF PERSONS ON PREMISES.
In the execution of a search warrant the person executing the same
may reasonably detain and search any person or thing in the place at
the time for any of the following reasons:
1. To protect the searcher from attack.
2. To prevent the disposal or concealment of any property subject
to seizure described in the warrant.
3. To remove any item which is capable of causing bodily harm
that the person may use to resist arrest or effect an escape.
I don't believe that the force you describe would render the search unconstitutional. Perhaps it may expose the officers to some claim of unlawful force.
So the question is, is an otherwise valid search on the authority of a warrant rendered invalid if excessive force is employed (and for purposes of analysis we will assume that it was) in executing the warrant? I would think not. Unless there is some unusual connection between the supposedly improper and excessive force and the outcome or scope of the search, I cannot see how it would matter. They are two separate issues. Your son might find himself facing a criminal prosecution but with, at best, a civil action for damages against the police department.
But by all means, he should bring this matter to the attention of the lawyer representing him on the criminal case, who may be able to find something in the situation that I do not see. Remember, we may give five minutes to answering an Avvo question. But representing a client in an actual case we might spend days probing and researching the issue.
No way to tell on this side of the computer. Was the warrant for a search, or for an arrest? They are two different things. Sounds like they had an arrest warrant.
Your son needs to relate all the details to his criminal defense attorney--that attorney will pull the thread to determine if any part of the process violates the Constitution.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.