Oxnard, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: How do I know if the search warrant was valid, legal, and legidimate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
David T Reagan
David T Reagan
  • Alameda, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This is a legal question best answered by an attorney. If you would like challenge a search warrant, first your attorney needs to obtain the search warrant and the police reports regarding the warrant. Sometimes the police ask to keep parts of the warrant under seal, but it is normally accessible through the court. Once you have the warrant, your attorney can analyze whether it comported with the requirements for a valid warrant. The primary case on this issue is U.S. V. Leon, but there have been many since that help define the standards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Leon

The key issues are: did the warrant accurately describe the person or things to be seized and did the search exceed the scope of the warrant (was it the correct address, did the police search rooms not within the warrant, etc.) 2) was it issued by a valid magistrate 3)did the officer knowingly lie in the affidavit for the warrant 4) was the warrant stale, meaning it was executed too long after it was signed 5) was there probable cause for the issuance of the warrant 6) was the evidence used for the warrant illegally seized?

Even if these issues exist, there are some exceptions where the search is still not suppressed. But, at least having one of these errors is a start.

Best of luck.

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