A search warrant is a term you may have heard while watching an episode of Law and Order, but you still might not know what it is and how it is used. The purpose of this warrant is to give police officers a right to enter a home or property, even if the owner does not give his or her consent. Without the search warrant, an officer should not legally enter a building and begin searching it for anything.
How Do These Warrants Work?
If officers believe they have a good reason to search an individual’s home, they will go to a judge in an attempt to get the warrant signed. They need to prove that there is a reason behind the search. For example, they may have reason to believe some type of criminal activity is taking place inside the property or that something related to a crime has been stored inside the building.
The officers must provide information pertaining to the case that is true. Officers typically do not go off of something they just heard at random and will instead work on building their case before completing an affidavit for the search warrant.
What Evidence is Needed for the Search Warrant?
Different types of evidence may be accepted by the judge. In many instances, a crime already took place inside the building, and police want to search around in different rooms for any evidence that would provide clues to help them figure out who committed the crime and how they did it. If they receive reliable information from a third-party who has inside knowledge of the crime, it could be used as evidence for the search warrant, too.
The police make sure that the affidavit is full with factual information before they bring it to the judge to review. If the judge agrees with it, he or she will sign it and allow the property to be searched with or without consent.
What Makes Search Warrants Important?
After a crime is committed, officers must work intensely to try and solve it. They want to make sure there is justice for those who were negatively impacted as a result of the crime and they want to make sure the person who is responsible for doing wrong receives their punishment. If they do not act quickly, criminals can tamper with evidence and get away with what they have done. And, that is the main reason these warrants are so important.
When officers are allowed to search a property, they may find evidence that leads them right to the person who committed the crime. Many crimes would have gone unsolved if it were not for search warrants. If your property or commercial premises have been searched by the police and you wish to challenge it, contact the specialist search warrant lawyers on this website.