Posted on March 11, 2017

Search Warrants

A search warrant is an order from a judge or magistrate allowing law enforcement to conduct a search of a suspect’s personal property. A search warrant is sought by law enforcement after revealing all or part of their investigation to a judge. Because a search warrant must be in compliance with the Fourth Amendment, police hold the burden of establishing probable cause that the place to be search may reveal contraband or contents of a crime.

The law recognizes the privacy interests in the citizens of the United States. Therefore, certain safeguards are implemented to ensure law enforcement does not conduct intrusive investigation methods. Failing to abide by certain search warrant formalities and procedures could result in the suppression of the evidence discovered or subsequently acquired as a result of the unlawful search.

As noted above, search warrants much be supported with probable cause. Probable cause can be based on hearsay, confidential informants, or police undercover operations. If criminal proceedings are initiated, a defendant has the right to petition to obtain all the contents of the warrant including statements and disclosure of the identity of the confidential informant, subject to constitutional limitations.

There are certain exceptions to dispensing with the search warrant requirements. For instance, a person may voluntarily give consent for officers to conduct a search. Consent may be revoked at any time or limited in scope and even duration. Other circumstances justifying a warrantless search involve emergency circumstances where death or serious injury could result without officer’s immediate intervention.

If your home or property has been searched by law enforcement, then there’s no question that immediate intervention by a respected and experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney is necessary to protect your rights. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to schedule your free confidential case evaluation.

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