You answer the door and are confronted by police shoving a search warrant at you. You may know what they’re looking for, or it may be completely unexpected. Either way, you don’t have to let the officers push you around. You have some rights in this situation, but if you don’t know what they are, you can’t protect yourself. Miami criminal defense attorney Danny Izquierdo explains how a search warrant works.
What Is a Search Warrant?
You probably know that police cannot enter your home without a search warrant, but you should also understand what a search warrant is and what rights it gives the police. A search warrant is a document issued by a judge that gives the holder permission to search a place and seize evidence of a crime. In order to get a search warrant, police must show the judge that they have probable cause that a crime occurred and that evidence of the crime is likely to be found on the premises. Police will not need a search warrant to enter your home if you give them permission, they believe someone in the home is in danger, or they think evidence is being destroyed.
Can You Refuse a Search?
No, you cannot refuse a legal search, but you have every right to examine the search warrant to make sure it is valid and that the police stay within the limitations of the warrant. When you are presented with a search warrant, you should confirm the following:
- The warrant lists your address.
- Police only search for what is listed on the warrant in places the items could reasonably be.
When you are served with a warrant, and your house is searched, you should call a defense attorney as soon as possible.
When an Attorney Can Help You Fight a Search Warrant
Police executing a search warrant will not wait for your attorney to arrive and examine the warrant. However, if they break the law in conducting the search, an attorney can suppress the evidence they find. That means if the warrant was invalid or the police exceed the limitations of the warrant, the evidence cannot be used to support a criminal charge against you. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney after your property is searched, the better the chance will be that he can fight it.
Contact Our Miami Criminal Defense Team as Soon as Possible
When you hire Danny Izquierdo to represent you in a criminal matter, he will pursue every possible defense, including proving that an illegal search and seizure occurred. Don’t trust your future to a public defender or unproven defense attorney. Contact the Izquierdo Law Firm to set up a free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session.