Law Office of Ronald A. Cabanayan
Law Office of
Ronald A. Cabanayan

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The Fourth Amendment and warrants

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the people of the country against unlawful search and seizure. It goes as far as saying that no warrant shall be issued unless there is probable cause. So, what exactly is a warrant? A warrant is a legal document that is written by a court that gives authorization to a police officer to conduct a seizure, a search, or an arrest in California.

In order for a search warrant to be valid it needs to be accompanied by a sworn statement from an officer of the law. The sworn statement must be made in front of a judge or magistrate. The statement made by the officer must provide evidence or facts that there is probable cause that either a crime has been committed or that one will be committed.

The officer will need to provide an oath that is either in writing or delivered orally to the court. The oath must not include intentionally false statements or that none of the statements made by the officer were done so in reckless regard to the truth.

The warrant being issued must also provide a description of the person, place, or item that is named. For example, if it is an arrest warrant it must describe the person to be arrested. If it is a search warrant, the physical place being searched must be described in the warrant.

Having your car, home or office searched is a stressful situation, even if a warrant was properly obtained. You need to protect your rights from the minute a law enforcement officer arrives at your door presenting you with a warrant in San Jose.

Source: FindLaw, “The Fourth Amendment Warrant Requirement,” accessed June 01, 2018