Miami Search Warrant Attorneys
A search warrant is a legal document that grants law enforcement the right to enter a premises to search it for evidence to support a criminal investigation. Much like an arrest requires a valid arrest warrant, the search of an individual’s home, vehicle, or other personal property such as a cell phone or computer requires a valid search warrant. Also like an arrest warrant, a search warrant is granted by a neutral judge and contains information about the individual or premises to be searched. For example, a warrant to search a home must contain the home’s address. In many cases, search warrants also include a window of time during a 24-hour period during which law enforcement may search the premises described in the warrant. If your home, your vehicle, or any other piece of your property was searched by law enforcement, whether they had a warrant to do so or not, speak with our team of experienced Miami search warrant attorneys about your rights.
Your Rights During a Search of your Property
You have the right to refuse to speak with officers during a search of your home, vehicle, or other property. You also have the right to basic respect, such as an announcement from law enforcement that they have arrived and that they have a search warrant before they begin their search.
There are also limits to what officers may and may not do during a search. They must comply with the terms of the warrant, which means that they may only search for evidence that is relevant to the case and they may only search the areas specified in the warrant.
When Does Law Enforcement Need a Search Warrant?
In most cases, a search warrant is necessary for law enforcement to conduct any search of an individual’s personal property. However, there are scenarios where this is not the case. These scenarios include:
- Cases where the individual consents to the search. If law enforcement asks an individual if they may enter his or her home or vehicle and he or she consents, no warrant is necessary for law enforcement to search the premises legally;
- Emergency situations where taking the time to obtain a warrant would mean putting a victim’s safety at risk or potentially losing critical evidence;
- Law enforcement searches an individual immediately following the individual’s arrest;
- Law enforcement notices incriminating evidence in plain view; and
- If law enforcement reasonably suspects that an individual of being dangerous and having committed a criminal offense, the individual may be temporarily detained and patted down. This is known as “stop and frisk.”
Contact Our Experienced Miami Search Warrant Attorneys
If the law enforcement officers who searched your home, your vehicle, or your person did not have a valid search warrant, any evidence they obtained during the search may be deemed to be invalid. This can be a critical part of your case’s legal defense strategy. To develop your defense strategy further, set up your initial consultation with our team of experienced Miami search warrant attorneys at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today. We can answer your questions and help you to effectively defend your case.