As a United States citizen, you are protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This means police should provide a search warrant before searching a person or their property. Search warrants are approved when the police provide probable cause that evidence will be discovered. We’ll show you what can make a search warrant invalid and how to challenge one.
Knowing What Can Make a Search Warrant Invalid
There are certain criteria necessary to make a warrant valid. If any of those criteria are not met, you can challenge the warrant. Below are some things to pay attention to:
Affidavit in Support of Search Warrant
To request warrants, police need to fill out an Affidavit in Support of Search Warrant. In this Affidavit, all evidence of probable cause must be provided. Police need to show why they believe the warrant will turn up physical evidence.
The police officer submitting the request has to swear under oath. They have to swear their information in the Affidavit is accurate. If they were lying to get the warrant, you can challenge that warrant.
Submit Justification of Request in Writing
Evidence for probable cause must be put into writing. If a judge provides a warrant without written probable cause, you can invalidate the warrant.
Evidence Submitted is True
If police are lying about the evidence that they have to get the warrant, it voids it. If they lie about where they received their information, that also invalidates the warrant. Your lawyer has to prove that the officer lied, or it won’t pass in court. Without proof, the warrant remains valid.
Evidence Submitted is Legally Obtained
If the police offer information to a judge that’s obtained illegally, the warrant is invalid. They also can’t use evidence found in an illegal search. An officer can’t walk up and enter your home even if the door is unlocked. If they only see something illegal in your home, they can’t include it in the Affidavit.
The Affidavit Information Must be Recently Obtained
An officer cannot sit on their evidence and ask for a warrant later on. The information obtained needs to be acted on by the police quickly. If not, a lawyer can easily claim the evidence to be outdated and move to dismiss the charges.
Unnamed Informants Need to be Reliable
Anonymous sources are often used to obtain warrants. The issue with them being anonymous is that they could be giving false information. Their reasoning behind the information could be from a grudge or personal agenda. The officer needs to ensure the information is reliable before submitting it in the Affidavit.
If an Affidavit contains information from an anonymous source, it needs to have two extra things. First, the Affidavit should include how the anonymous source obtained the information. It can’t just be the informant repeating what they heard. Extra evidence is required.
Secondly, the information obtained by the informant has to be what they experienced first hand. The information needs to be what they saw, did, or heard. There needs to be evidence that the informant’s evidence is credible.
Why Do the Police Need a Search Warrant?
If the police have evidence of possible illegal activity, they can request a search warrant. They can use search warrants to find further evidence of your crime. Therefore, this can lead to them charging you with that crime.
Can I Refuse Police to Search if They Have a Warrant?
If the police show up to your property with a search warrant, you cannot refuse them. Let them on your property and tell them you are calling your lawyer. Remember, yYou will have the chance to fight back later, with the help of your lawyer.
We Can Help
If you’ve been arrested, contact Blackman Bail Bonds. We can help get you out of jail while you wait for your trial.