4A Search Warrant Law

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General Rules

1. Search warrant: judicial order authorizing search & seizure
2. Warrant must be issued on information constituting "probable cause"
- Affidavit must set out facts from which issuing magistrate can make independent judgment that probable cause exists

General Rules

3. Warrant must describe specifically both:
- Place to be searched; and
- Items to be searched for and seized

Announcement & "No Knock" Entry

- Before entering a premises, officer must "knock and announce" and give occupants opportunity to admit the officers
- "No Knock" entry permitted if officers have "reasonable suspicion" that occupants would:
a) resist the officers by using force; or
b) remove or destroy items for which warrant issued

Limits to Search

Search must be limited to both:
- Place described; and
- Within that place, those locations where described items might reasonably be expected to be located (or fit)

Seizure Requirements

Officers can seize:
- Items reasonably believed to be those described in warrant; and
- Other items found in "plain view" during search if PC exists to believe they are seizable

Informant's Tip

Warrant affidavit relying on informant's tip must be helped by facts indicating:
- Information was in general sense reliable; and
- Informant had reasonable source for this information

Challenging Affidavit

To successfully challenge a search warrant based on inaccurate facts in affidavit, D must show:
- Affiant misstated certain facts;
- The affiant did this intentionally or at least with reckless disregard for whether the stated fact was accurate; and
- The misstated fact was material, which means that without that fact the affidavit was not sufficient to support the search warrant

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