judge on phone looking at papers

If the police arrive at your home or stop you while you’re driving and ask to search your property, you are well within your right to decline. However, if they have a search warrant, they are within their legal right to look at and take your property. However, because the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, you should know the police must have probable cause to obtain a warrant from a judge. This blog explores what you should know about these matters and why it’s imperative to connect with a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer to explore your legal options.

What Is a Search Warrant?

A search warrant is a document that allows the police to search your property without your consent if they believe you have committed a crime. This is because they believe there is evidence of criminal activity, so the warrant gives them the legal right to search your property and seize evidence of a crime.

Though it may seem simple enough to obtain, law enforcement must take the necessary steps to get this document before they can execute a warrant. This includes having the document signed by a judge or magistrate. In many instances, there is someone on call who will sign a warrant in emergency situations. However, the police must provide evidence of probable cause for a judge or magistrate to sign the document.

What Probable Cause Is Needed to Issue One?

When the police request a search warrant, they must provide evidence to support their beliefs. Essentially, so long as the police have reason to believe a crime has been committed or that you intend to commit a crime, a judge may sign the warrant. For example, if the police have your fingerprints at the scene of a crime, a judge would likely sign the warrant allowing police to search your property.

If My Constitutional Rights Are Violated, What Should I Do?

If you believe you are the victim of an unreasonable search and seizure, it’s imperative to understand what your rights are. For example, if the police show up with a warrant, it will limit the scope of their search to certain areas of your property. As such, they will not be permitted to search any locations outside the areas listed in the document that was signed and approved by the judge. Doing so could violate the warrant, meaning the evidence could be deemed inadmissible.

Additionally, if the police do not have a warrant or seize property that is not related to a crime, they can be held accountable.

As mentioned, the evidence collected may be deemed inadmissible if your attorney files a motion to suppress this evidence because it was collected in violation of your constitutional rights. This can weaken the prosecution’s case against you, giving you the chance for a more favorable outcome.

At the Miller Law Practice, LLC, we understand how overwhelming it can be to be faced with a search warrant. That’s why our team will do everything possible to protect you and your rights. Connect with us today to learn more about these matters.