Search warrant – Call (855) 505-5588
When someone comes knocking at your door, flashes a badge and demands to be let in so they can comb through your life and belongings, you’re bound to have a few questions as to what they can take and whether there is anything you should do in that situation. Most commonly, a magistrate judge will issue a search warrant after being shown enough evidence to convince them that a search warrant is appropriate.
When a search warrant is issued and law enforcement officers come to your door they may take property which includes but is not limited to documents, books, papers, and/or any other tangible objects and information. Essentially, anything that they believe could be related to the crime that is being investigated is fair game. The federal law enforcement officer will be a government agent who is not the prosecuting attorney. They can arrive at any time between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm local time. If for some reason there is reasonable evidence that there is information relating to a crime on an electronic device, then the federal law enforcement officer may take possession of a computer, laptop, iPad, etc. in order to get to that information.
A warrant may be issued for evidence relating to a crime, for contraband, fruits of a crime or other illegal items, for property designed to be used or that was used in committing a crime, or for a person to be arrested. Once the warrant is issued and executed, it must be returned to the magistrate judge who issued it. However, the federal law enforcement officer must give you a copy of that warrant when they knock at your door, or leave a copy of the warrant at the place where the officer took the property that was confiscated. When an officer comes to your home or place of employment to execute a search warrant they must prepare and verify an inventory of the property that was seized. They have to prepare this inventory in the presence of another officer or another credible person.
If your property is taken and you believe that the search and seizure was illegal or not properly executed you may file for the return of your property with the court. This motion would have to be filed in the district in which the property was seized and you would have to explain why it is that you believe that the property was wrongly taken. If the court agrees with you, they will then return your property but may impose certain conditions, which protect access on the part of the investigators or the government to be able to access the property and use it in later proceedings.
When search warrants are executed there are often unfavorable results because you get no forewarning and you don’t have an idea as to what they will seize. Additionally, because they are only required to leave you with a copy of the search warrant and there may be vague or unspecific terms in the warrant, you may not know what information they are really after. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side who is well-versed in the law and would know if they federal law enforcement officers have done something incorrectly would be an invaluable resource. Karren Kenney is a criminal attorney who specializes in search warrants, don’t mess around with your freedom and your personal rights. Call Karren Kenney (855) 505-5588 for a free phone consultation, available 24 hours a day! For a more prepared response from Karren, please contact us on the web.