One of the most sacrosanct rights that a citizen has in the United States is liberty, especially abode and the sanctity of their home. Enshrined in the Constitution is the right against unlawful arrest and seizure and as such when search warrants are issued, they undergo a very restrictive process before its issuance and service.
In the state of California, a search warrant is issued to a law enforcement officer when:
a) Has personal knowledge that the effects of a crime are within a home or abode or has witnesses for such activity;
b) Such personal knowledge or witnesses is presented to a judge for examination for the existence of probable cause;
Once the judge is satisfied, the judge would then issue a search warrant. A search warrant is an order upon law enforcement agents to search a particular individual’s home, car, person or any other place specifically indicated in the warrant.
In order for a warrant to be considered as valid, the judge must have found probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the evidence of the commission or the proceeds of such crime would be found in the location described in the warrant.
Search warrants though are not fool proof as the evidence presented to provide probable cause may be faulty. If the search warrant is improper, then all the evidence obtained may be excluded from trial, under the fruit of the poison tree doctrine stated by the US Supreme Court.
Thus it is important to review the search warrant as a document and have your lawyer question the validity of its basis and issuance. When defects have been found in the warrant, then you may have the opportunity to have your case dismissed since the evidence obtained would be excluded in proving the criminal case against you.
A search warrant is a legal document with serious implications in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.