Posted on June 12, 2016

Search Warrants Explained | Orange County | Free Consultation

Search warrants are governed under the Fourth Amendment which must adhere to an individual’s right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion.[1]  When law enforcement executes a search warrant, then it has already been determined that there is sufficient probable cause to believe a crime is being committed.[2]  Moreover, in order for a search warrant to be issued, law enforcement must obtain the signature from a judge who has reviewed the case to determine whether there is a sufficient basis to believe that a crime, or fruits of a crime, are located in the place to be searched.

Typically, search warrants contain an affidavit from the investigating detective outlining the reasons for obtaining the search warrant.  The affidavit may consist of witness statements, statements from confidential informants, direct observations from officers, and photographs.  Search warrants are normally executed in drug cases where law enforcement believes a home may contain drugs and instrumentalities of drug sales.  Law enforcement may also obtain a warrant to examine someone’s home computer if they believe the computer may depict illegal sexual material.

If a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, then law enforcement is required to obtain a search warrant to legally search.[3]  With the growing use of technology, courts have concluded that the contents of someone’s mobile device is private requiring officers to obtain a search warrant to search through.  Additionally, the Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant when drawing blood from someone arrested for suspicion of DUI.  However, law enforcement need not obtain a warrant if a suspect “consents” to a search.

If police officers executed a search of your home, then you can expect that there’s an ongoing criminal investigation.  Rather than attempt to figure out the investigation yourself, it’s best to contact an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney to intervene sooner than later.  For more information, or if you believe there’s a criminal investigation against you, contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free consultation.

 

 

LEGAL FOOTNOTES

[1] Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution – defined (“..[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, support by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.”)  Defined from: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fourth_amendment

[2] Probable cause defined – (“Sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime.”) http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1618#ixzz4BOPNxD9s

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expectation_of_privacy

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