Search Warrants and The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment mandates that citizens shall be free from
some hard and fast rules do provide guidance. First and foremost
among these is the core principle that all searches, unless conducted
pursuant to a warrant, are per se unreasonable, therefore
The Fourth Amendment requires that a search warrant be issued by
a magistrate or judge who must, after receiving an oath or
affirmation from the warrant applicant, make an independent, neutral
and detached determination whether probable cause exists to believe
that particularly described property will be found at a particular
place. When applying for a warrant, an officer must present an
affidavit that contains facts that support a finding of “probable
cause.” Cal. Pen. Code §1527. The warrant and the affidavit or
testimony on which it is based must be legally sufficient, i.e., they
must contain facts that show a crime was committed, and facts that
indicate why evidence will be found in a given place. Cursory
assertions and bare-bones allegations will not support a warrant.
The warrant must be issued by a removed, impartial judge. This
requirement is premised on the notion “that a warrant authorized by
a neutral and detached judicial officer is a more reliable safeguard
against improper searches than the hurried judgment of a law
enforcement officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of
ferreting out crime.
The probable cause standard for issuance of a search warrant is
essentially the same as that for arrest, the difference being that police
must have probable cause to believe that a crime has been
committed, and they can find certain evidence in a particular place.
If there is an appreciable delay between the occurrence of the
circumstances that create probable cause and the time a warrant is
issued, the facts supporting the probable cause determination may
become “stale,” in that although the alleged facts may once have
supported a probable cause determination, presently they may not do
so. Courts reason that information demonstrating evidence of a
crime once could be found in a given location does not mean that
evidence of a crime necessarily may be found there now. Stale
information creates the mere suspicion crime has been committed,
and does not rise to the level of probable cause.
A violation of the law pertaining to a search warrant could result in a
dismissal of the criminal case or charges. Read more about search
warrants and the fourth amendment on Attorney Matthew Ruff
social media site on Google Plus. Learn why the exclusionary rule
was implemented and how the police use the search warrant rule in
References of Law provided by Lexis-Nexis.
Matthew J. Ruff, Esq.
Toll Free at 1-877-617-4485