How Do The Police Obtain a Search Warrant?

If police come knocking on your door, they need to present a search warrant in most cases to legally enter and look around your property. How are these warrants obtained? Read on to find out.

The United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment states that search warrants will only be permitted if there is probable cause. The police must provide probable cause in an affidavit, which is a sworn statement. Sworn testimony may also be submitted to the issuing judge to consider. The judge will then decide whether there is probable cause. They will use “fair probability” to determine whether there will be evidence pertaining to a crime found at the place to be searched. 

What must be included in the affidavit?

There are certain pieces of information that the affidavit must include to enable the judge to make their decision, including:

  • The place to be searched. This must be the exact address or precise details of the location.
  • What evidence the police expect to find at the search location
  • Why the police have reason to believe that the evidence will be found in said location and the criminal activity that ties in with this. 

What power does a search warrant give the police?

If the search warrant is granted, this means that the police are permitted to enter the property or location, even if the owner does not want them to. They are then able to search the site specified in the search warrant and seize:

  • Stolen or embezzled property
  • Any property which is thought to have been obtained unlawfully
  • Property that may have been used or obtained with the intent to commit or conceal a crime
  • Any illegal drugs or drugs that are legal but only with an accompanying prescription

What should you do if the police come to your property or vehicle with a search warrant?

It is best to comply with the police and allow them to search your property. If you believe the search warrant is invalid, you can contest this later, and any evidence obtained using the search warrant will be dismissed. 

Hiring an experienced defense attorney is imperative. The professional defense attorneys at Pak & McRae can work to protect your rights and that you don’t act or say anything that could harm your case. Get in touch today for a consultation.

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Pak & McRae Law

At Pak and McRae Law, LLC we provide straightforward, sincere criminal defense for local, state, and federal matters. Our team includes a former Assistant District Attorney, so we understand how prosecutors approach cases and will use those insights to benefit your case.

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