Search Warrants: Looking for a Clue

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Written by Andrew B. Metcalf

Categories: Criminal Law

Comments: 0

Search Warrents: Looking for a Clue

Search Warrants: Looking for a Clue

If legal dramas shown on television or in the movies are based in reality, then a homeowner faced with cops at their front door should ask if they have a warrant, regardless of why they are really there. If in fact the authorities are present to conduct a search, they might produce a signed search warrant in anticipation of it being requested, thus leaving the homeowner the option of allowing entry and offering coffee while the search is conducted.

“The Fourth Amendment protects people’s rights ‘to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’ But, by the same token, the police have the right to pursue obtaining a search warrant based on their belief that a crime either has or will take place,” said Andrew B. Metcalf, Partner at Green & Metcalf of Vero Beach, Florida.

The “probable cause” required to secure a warrant suggests a crime has been committed or will occur, and offers no guarantee that a judge will grant a search warrant without evidence that validates the suspicion of the crime. In addition, establishing probable cause to get a search warrant involves a description of the location to be searched and the people or items that can be seized as a result of that search. This may offer homeowners some peace of mind, knowing a search of their home may not include anything and everything under their roof.

“Search warrants are usually granted when the police already have enough evidence to show the cause for one being granted, rather than being used as a reason to look for any evidence to pursue initial charges,” Metcalf said.

Andrew B. Metcalf is a partner of Green & Metcalf - Attorneys At Law. He has over 20 years of experience in the practice field of criminal defense. Metcalf is the Immediate Past President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Past President of both the Indian River Bar Association and the Indian River Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has earned a Preeminent AV Peer Reviewed rating with Martindale Hubbell and has a perfect 10.0 rating with AVVO.

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