Search warrants are issued by a judge or magistrate to a law enforcement officer as an authority to conduct a search of a person, location, or a vehicle for evidence of a crime. Nowadays, judges and magistrates use electronic search warrants to save time and money. With the use of this e-warrants, a judge can issue a search warrant in matter of minutes while the SWAT team is outside of the criminal’s door waiting to enter! This eliminates the need for an officer to physically travel to the court location, obtain the warrant and return to the search location which could take hours.
Who Issues This Search Warrant?
This is usually issued by a judge or magistrate if the law enforcement can provide convincing evidence that there is sufficient probable cause to search a person or a location for evidence of a crime.
What Proof Does It Need To Get a Search Warrant?
Police will provide a written statement of the probable cause to the judge. This written statement is known as a ‘Warrant affidavit’ or ‘Search Warrant application’. The affidavit contains statements provided by undercover agents, private citizens or members of law enforcement about the evidence of the criminal activity.
Are warrants Useful?
Yes, it is very useful as this process allows the government to legally intrude upon a persons’ privacy and confiscate any evidence that may be found. Moreover, any law enforcement officer engaging in the process of obtaining and serving a search warrant must adhere to strict guidelines. If a search warrant was obtained and severed in an illegal manner, the seized evidence will not be allowed in court trial and will be dismissed.
What If You Refuse To Let Them In?
It would be the biggest mistake to refuse law enforcement officers with search warrants inside your house or work place! The search warrant empowers the law enforcement personnel to break in and gain access by force.
Can You Read The Search Warrant?
Yes, you have the rights to read the search warrant carefully before letting them in. You can even make sure that they search within the area described in the warrant.
Can police Legally Conduct a Physical Search?
Yes, they have the fundamental rights to conduct a physical search if they believe that you might be carrying a dangerous weapon or evidence that were used during criminal activities.
What If They Find Anything Suspicious Can You Be Arrested?
Yes, if the law enforcement officers find something suspicious related to the criminal activity, they have the right to take you into custody on the basis of a search warrant!
These are some popular questions that people usually ask when they think about search warrants. In the past, obtaining a search warrant was a time consuming and lengthy process.
However, in 1998 the introduction of the Electronic Warrant by Palatine Technology streamlined the process of obtaining and signing electronic warrants from remote locations. Palatine has reduced the process of obtaining a warrant from few hours to minutes, all while saving time and money for all levels of law enforcement.