To get a search warrant in Florida, a law enforcer must submit a request for one from a magistrate or judge. The request needs to be accompanied by an affidavit which has been sworn by the officer involved in the request. This includes information that provides the foundation for probable cause for wanting the search warrant. The judge needs to be convinced that there is a high chance that contraband, or proof of a crime, is likely to be discovered at the property that needs to be searched.
Additionally, once issued, the search warrant needs to specify what the police are permitted to search for and must include a good description of the property that requires the search warrant. If a judge or a magistrate decides to issue a search warrant, at any time the police have the power to execute the search warrant. Typically, the police are able to only search for goods that are indicated on the warrant. For example, if when the warrant is issued it permits the police to look for stolen televisions, they are not permitted to open bathroom cabinets or drawers where a TV would never fit.
When a warrant is not required to undertake a search of a home
The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens against any “unreasonable” search and seizure. Generally speaking, before a police officer can conduct a search of a person’s home a warrant is required based on probable cause. But this isn’t always the case as the Fourth Amendment states that people have the right to be secure from any unreasonable searches and seizing of property. Any warrant that is issued must be based on probable cause which has been supported by oath and a description is provided of where in the house needs to be searched and what or who needs to be seized.
There are exceptions to the warrant which include the following.
• Asking you to give consent to search your home. Once this has been given a warrant is no longer required.
• Plain view is another exception and this is when illegal contraband is in plain view when you have opened the door to a police officer and s/he can see the substance sitting on the table without entering the house.
• When a police officer instigates a lawful arrest s/he is entitled to search the area immediately around the arrested person to determine whether a weapon or any illegal item is present. A warrant is not required.
• In an emergency if a police officer arrives at your house and shots can be heard or screams for help the officer may without possessing a warrant.
If you believe you have had your rights breached under the Fourth Amendment, you should talk to Albert Quirantes Esq., an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney, who will discuss with you your legal options. You can call his office in Miami at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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