Some Facts that you Should know about Search Warrants

What is search warrant: A search warrant is a written or typed order, signed by the magistrate, that empowers the police officer to conduct the search at any home or property.

How to obtain: When a law enforcement officer has strong reason to believe that there can be some important evidence in relation of a crime or criminal at a house or property, he convenience the magistrate and obtains an order that allows him to conduct a Houston city warrant search. For this he has to submit an affidavit or written oath that describe the situation on the basis of information by any civilian, an informer or officer’s personal observation.if the magistrate satisfies about the presence of probable cause, he issues the search warrant.

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What can be searched or seize: While performing a warrant search Harris County TX, a police officer can only search a house or premises or its specified part which is clearly described in the warrant. If the warrant is issued for the search for a house, then the vehicles standing outside can not be searched and if the warrant allows the search for marijuana then searching for weapons is totally unauthorized.

When a warrant is not that required: There are a number of situations defined by the court when a police officer can conduct a search without a warrant. Such conditions involve:

  • Consent search: if the person allows to conduct a search in his house, vehicle or property without any pressure or force, there is no need of the search warrant. Here the search is valid till the limit as the person agrees. If the person agrees for the search in the house, then it means the search of each room, the furniture, clothes and everything but not the vehicles, backyard and other property outside the dwelling.
  • Plain view doctrine: If there is clear visibility or availability of evidences or “in plain view”, a police officer is allowed to perform a quick search at the spotted place.
  • If the search is connected with arrest: While in the situation of a lawful arrest, an officer has right tosearch the personal belongings of the arrestee and the immediate surroundings.
  • Emergency situations: If there is an emergency situation like

1) There is a strong possibility of damage of evidence.

2) At a routine patrol, a police officer hears a shout or feel something wrong happening in a house or property.

3) If the police is chasing a criminal and he escapes in a house.

Stop and search: In the case, when police find a person in a public place, in a situation that can impose a threat to the surrounding the officer can rightfully stop him and search his belongings.

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Getting help: if someone is arrested and wants to know about the laws applicable and rights availed to him, he should consult an experienced criminal lawyer. As there are different set of laws applied in each state, this experienced and professional help will enable an arrested person to face the situation.

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