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Search Warrant Questions

Search warrants are judicial documents that authorize police to search a person or place in an attempt to find evidence of a crime. The evidence found is used in criminal prosecution. In order to obtain a search warrant, police officers must submit an affidavit showing probable cause that evidence of a crime will be found during a search. If the judge is satisfied that the officers have enough reason for a search, the judge will sign a search warrant. Once the warrant has been signed, the police may execute the search at any time they wish. To learn more about search warrants, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

When a search warrant in Washington state is issued for two different locations and it is for a specific vehicle only, can they(police) take down every VIN (on other vehicles) at the location and check it for stolen? Can the search continue after the specific vehicle is located?

Usually, if the vehicle in question is found, any further search should be stopped. This means the search in both locations should end. The search in the location where the vehicle wasn't at would be allowed to continue for a short time, until the report is radioed in that the vehicle has been located. At that time, the search should end. In the event that evidence against the person in question was found after the search had ended, the person could challenge that evidence in court. The judge will determine if the time spend searching after the vehicle was found was unreasonable or not. Anything found before the vehicle on the search warrant was located or shortly after could be used in court. Any evidence found after the police had been notified of the find would have to be challenged by the suspect's attorney.

My parents house was searched two days ago and the warrant said "Sworn statement saying there are drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the home." Doesn't it have to be written on the search warrant EXACTLY what they were looking for and where they would find it?

Generally, the law only required that the address of the property in question is listed, along with the items that are to be searched for. As long as the address is listed, the officers can search the premises. There has to be probable cause to acquire a search warrant. Without probable cause, a judge will not allow a search to be performed. A police officer must sign a sworn affidavit stating why they believe they will find an item(s) in a home.

A search warrant was issued 08/4/11 for my property for probable cause to suspect drug trafficking. Things are missing from my home. I would like to know who is responsible for the theft and damages. And why can't I get a copy of the signed search warrant?

When executing a search warrant, the police may make a mess upon entry or during a search. This is allowed by law and there is little a person can do about it. You will need to show that you own the items that were removed. This generally happens when a search warrant is executed regarding felony drug charges. As far as responsibility, that would generally fall on the person who is under investigation. The detectives or officers who conducted the search are required to give you a copy of the search warrant.

If a federal search warrant is served, and the warrant doesn't have a judges actual signature on it, is the warrant still valid?

Generally, a search warrant would be considered invalid without a judge's signature. However, it is possible that the search warrant was obtained via phone call. In that case, a copy of the search warrant would have to be signed by the judge within a reasonable timeframe. There are situations where evidence can still be used in court even if it was obtained by an invalid warrant. There is usually probable cause or an exception to the search warrant requirements.

Can a search warrant be performed at any time of the day and any day of the week?

There are no restrictions on when a search warrant can be executed. If an officer has probable cause and can get a judge to sign off on a search warrant, they can execute the search at any time of day or any day of the week. However, there are times when a judge cannot be reached and the police must wait to execute a search until the judge has signed. Usually, this is to avoid any unforeseen issues about the validity of the search warrant during a trial or hearing.

Search warrants are use by police to search property in an attempt to find evidence of a crime. Generally, when a search warrant has been executed, the person in question will be possibly facing some form of charges. If you find yourself in a situation regarding a search warrant, you should seek the legal insight of a Legal Expert.
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Recent Search Warrant Questions

  • In late May my mom [67] let my 21 yr old neice sucker her into

    In late May my mom [67] let my 21 yr old neice sucker her into letting my niece [her, 2yr old and baby daddy]move in with her claiming they had no where to go. Since then they have trashed up house, ran up extream power bills, cuss mother, laugh at and call her bad names ect. Worst of all they have stolen anything of value she has. They have no respect for personal boundaries. Mother goes in her room at night locks herself in and sleeps with all her keys (car ect.) on a lanyard around her neck. We have been in eviction process since June but getting different info from local police and sheriff dept. so would like to know the correct info for inviction in Alabama.
    I tried to rush the process by attempting to have her file restraing order on them. We went to court house (Calhoun) they said they can only do PPO for those in sexual relationships. I tried sheriff office for temporary restraining order but they said they cant do anymore. So more info would be great.
    Lastly, they had taken a window air conditioner belonging to mother and put in their assigned bedroom window. After mother discover this she removed the unit from the outside (at risk of hurting herself) and put it in her bedroom that she keeps locked up. Later that day after return for somewhere she dicover the unit gone from her room then discovered it back in their window. Is this considerd theft and does she have right to get search warrant to look for other stolen items? (i.e. a debit card went missing sine they have been there)
    Any info would be greatly appreciated, Sandra
  • I field a civil law suit pro per against county of riverside

    I field a civil law suit pro per against county of riverside code enforcement for coming to my house with an illegal search warrant that had a different address than mine when I told them to leave they handcuffed me an put me in a police car.
    They came back at a latter date and destroyed a double wide mobile home and 1958 Cadillac limo,both were currently registered.
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  • I own some commercial buildings that are being leased out and

    I own some commercial buildings that are being leased out and in one leased building they were two business .I rented part of the building to a tattoo shop and with a business license in 1235. My wife had another business with some skill master machines and license at 1239. Later she moved into 1235 and was getting a new business license in her company name at 1235. The sheriff dept showes up at 1235 with a warrant in the tattoo shops name with the address of 1239. They go into 1235 made her and others leave. They would not let her stay while they searched her building which violates her 4th ammendment rights. They called her in later to unlock a door.She did not have a key so she took a screw driver pryed the lock back told him it was unlocked and asked him to push. He physically pushed her out of the way and kicked in the door resulting in lots of damage to the door and wall. Refer to section code 17-5-27. The warrant had the wrong name, wrong address, wrong building the warrant said a metal building. 1235 is wooden and not metal. Wrong charges were filed.She had all paperwork to legally operate the skill master machines and had been checked by ATF with no problems.This is not considered comercial gambling according to code 16-12-21 and code16-12-22 which is what she was being charged with on the search warrant. The addresses are clearly marked on both buildings. They claimed to have video of cash payouts but arrested no one and took the machines. Per another law agency they violated her 4th admendant rights and if they had video evidence they would have arrested someone plus they put the wrong name and address in the paper. They caused the Tattoo shop ,Which I just bought 3 weeks ago lots of damage paper, tv, face book etc. Is the search Legal and can I sue them?
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