It is a traumatic experience to have the police come, search your home, and seize your property. Remember that you have rights to privacy in your home, and that our constitution is set up to protect you.
It is in these moments that the issue of search warrants become extremely important. Police authorities do not have the right to seize a home without a search warrant that is granted with reasonable cause by a judge or magistrate. While the Fourth Amendment protects from “unreasonable” searches, it can still leave a lot up for question.
Here is some basic information on search warrants that will help gain some clarify.
A warrant is a document issued by a legal or government official authorizing the police or some other body to make an arrest, search premises, or carry out some other action related to the administration of justice.
A search warrant is different than an arrest warrant. It is a legal document authorizing a police officer or other official to enter and search premises. A search warrant is needed to validate a Fourth Amendment search.
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution restricts government searches and seizures. The amendment states:
“The 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, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Obtaining a Search Warrant
It is a judge or a magistrate that have the power to issue a search warrant. The warrant needs to be issued by a “neutral” and detached magistrate to determine if there is probable cause to search.
That means that law enforcement officers must show that there is probable cause and believe the search is justified to obtain a search warrant. Specifically, officers must support this showing with a sworn statement what they place they plant to search and the items they will seize.
If police authorities enter a home without a search warrant or violate the terms of the warrant, they are violating the Fourth Amendment, and the implication can be severe.
One key aspect is that any evidence that was obtained through an illegal search or seizer cannot be used against a defendant in the court of law. This is under the “exclusionary rule” and the “fruit of the poisonous tree” documents.
Seek Legal Help for Unlawful Search and Seizure
The law is straightforward for any police to enter a home and seize property. They must obtain a search warrant. If you believe that you have been a victim of a wrongful and unlawful search and seize of your home and personal property, it is important that you seek experienced legal advice immediately.
It is our goal at The David J. Kramer Group, PLLC to make sure that you do not have to face any unjust punishments. We want to help you. Please call our office today:
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000