You have the right to decline an officer’s request to search you or your personal property for evidence. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects citizens from illegal search and seizure. So, what do the cops need to look for evidence legally?
A search warrant is a document that gives police the right to look for evidence of a crime in your possessions. Learn more about what it takes to get a warrant and the situations that may not require one.
What do the police need to get a search warrant?
A search warrant requires the police to present their belief that a crime occurred and that evidence is somewhere in your possession. This probable cause goes to a judge to review and either issue the warrant or reject it.
What can the police search with a warrant?
The judge does not allow the police to search or take just anything they believe is evidence. The parameters of the warrant include the exact locations and the items the police may want to look for. This restricts the police to search only those locations and items listed in the warrant.
When can the police search without a warrant?
There are times when the police may search without a warrant. The obvious is when you permit them. Another more common scenario is when the police see something in plain sight that may lead them to believe a crime has occurred. The police may also enter and search if they think you may destroy evidence before the court issues a warrant.
If the search parameters do not prove legal, the items discovered may no longer hold sway against you. Understanding the basics of search and seizure may help your defense.