The Things You Need To Know About Search Warrants

By August 1, 2014 Criminal Defense No Comments
search warrant

Search Warrants

A search warrant is an order or a document signed by a judge that authorizes a police officer for searching any specific thing or material at a certain place and time. The police officer can only search that is described or written in the warrant document. If the officers authorized have a warrant to search your car, then they are not allowed to search inside your house. For example, a search warrant may allow the police officers to search of β€œan apartment located at Floor 15, Berkley St., between the hours of 7pm-9pm for illegal drugs and paraphernalia, materials used for packaging, scales, weapons, money, and other items used for sale and administration of the said illegal drugs. β€œ That means, they have to follow only the description ordered by the judge. However, authorized officers can seize any evidence of a crime while searching even if that material is not mentioned the search warrant.

What The Police Can Search and Seize?

As mentioned above, the police can only search for a particular place described in a warrant and can seize the property that the search warrant allows. The police cannot search for any weapons if the warrant only specifies about the use of illegal drugs. But, this does not mean that the officers can only seize what is mentioned on the order. While executing a search, they can lawfully confiscate the items that are not on the list. If the warrant also mentions a person to be searched, the officers can search that person and if they have a probable cause, they can also inspect other person who was at the search scene.

What To Do When Officers Want To Search Your Home

If a police officer wants to search your home or apartment, ask to see the warrant first in a polite manner. If the officer has a search warrant, you need to let him or her in inside your home. If in case that an officer does not have a warrant, tell the police that you do not consent for entering and searching you or your home. Always try to say it politely and avoid the use of physical force or resist the officers physically. If the police officer still insists on entering, let him and be cooperative if possible so that you will not be charged for interfering with the latter or for other criminal offense. During the inspection, observe the officer and make notes of what occurred, so that you will have a record and if you eventually challenge the search later or seek for legal action.

Consult A Lawyer

If you are charged with a certain crime, talk to a professional and experienced criminal defense lawyer. A trusted lawyer can help protect your rights and explain to you the law in your jurisdiction. If you feel that the officers violated your rights as a person with an unreasonable or illegal search, then talk to your defense lawyer about filing a complaint or a lawsuit.

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