FOLLOW US :
212-300-5196

White Glove Service. Excellent Results. Strong Reputation.

Read Our Reviews

After a Search Warrant: The First Thing You Should Do

May 26, 2020 Uncategorized

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives people the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…” This means that police cannot simply raid your home-they must have a search warrant. What you may not realize is that you have rights even after a search warrant has been executed. If you are served with a search warrant, keep these things in mind.

#1. Ask to see the search warrant

The concept of privacy as spelled out in the Fourth Amendment requires police to search only as much as absolutely necessary to obtain evidence. Accordingly, search warrants are very precise in nature. They are limited to a specific location such as “the house”, and spell out exactly what type of contraband police are able to search for.

By reading the search warrant, you will already know what areas police are limited to. That way, you can avoid giving verbal permission for them to search in any other places. Be advised that the type of contraband they are looking for can also affect where they search. For example, if police are looking for a stolen vehicle they may not search a closet since an automobile would not fit into that space.

Keep in mind that there are certain instances in which an officer can legally go beyond the boundaries spelled out in the search warrant. For example, if an item is in plain view it can be seized even if it is not specifically listed on the search warrant. Under exigent circumstances, police may seize items if they reasonably believe they might be destroyed.

#2. Remain Calm

Having a search warrant served on you is typically a very nerve-racking experience. You might even be handcuffed and separated from family members during the process. Although you are stressed, it is very important to remain calm. Avoid making any statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt. And do not under any circumstances threaten police officers-not even if you see them mishandling some of your most prized possessions.

#3. Record the process

Criminal charges are often dropped when a judge determines that officers illegally obtained evidence. The “fruits of the poisonous tree doctrine” claims that any evidence that derives from an illegal source (the tree) is also poisonous and therefore cannot be used. What is the best way to prove that evidence has been tainted? To record the process.

Recording the search will likely be impossible if you are handcuffed; however, you might be able to take a few pictures or even scribble some notes. If you are not able to record the search, take photographs as soon as police leave and then document your account of the events in writing while it is still fresh in your mind.

#4. Don’t admit to anything

Officers may try to question you while the search is ongoing. They might also come to you claiming to have found certain evidence and asking whether it belongs to another family member. You might even be threatened with an arrest if you fail to cooperate.

It’s important to note that officers may or may not actually have the evidence they purport. As such, you will need to use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to squeal on another person or answer questions about their activities.

#5. Contact an attorney

When a search warrant yields contraband, this usually leads to an arrest. Sometimes that arrest comes on the spot, while in other cases it may happen days or weeks later. And just because law enforcement did not find illegal items does not mean they are finished with you. It likely means they will just regroup and then request another search warrant later.

The best way to protect yourself in either instance is to contact an attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can help you defend your rights and ensure you remain innocent until proven guilty.

FREE CONSULTATION

Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.

Get In Touch

Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles

555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

212-300-5196



get directions

Queens

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196



get directions

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196



get directions

Brooklyn

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196



get directions

Call Us