A police officer must have a search warrant to conduct a search or a seizure in most circumstances. They cannot act without authority but must prepare an affidavit that sets out probable cause.
The warrant must be considered by a neutral magistrate who reviews the affidavit and is convinced there’s a legal reason for a warrant to be issued.
If the warrant affidavit fails to set out a legally sufficient probable cause, the search warrant issued by a magistrate is an illegal search warrant. As such, it’s inadmissible in court.
Although we think of search warrants in connection with searches of property during the investigation of a crime, police also must obtain a search warrant for a blood test during a DWI stop.
When search warrants are issued for police to go into a property, the search should be consistent with the warrant itself.
For example, if for the evidence listed in the warrant allows police to search a bathroom of a home for illegal drugs, the police officers should confine their search to the bathroom.
Although search warrants are generally required by police to conduct searches and seizures, there are some exceptions, namely:
In many cases, getting a search warrant can be a painstaking process. If officers fail to comply with the law, evidence will likely be inadmissible in court. Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys can look for these inconsistencies and undermine the case against you.
Call us for a free consultation today.