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Understand the limitations of search warrants

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

It is hoped that you know and understand that you never have to open your door to the police without a warrant. While there are certain conditions that allow the authorities to barge into your home without one, in most cases the police must present a valid warrant to legally search your premises.

But what happens when they have the warrant? Does that give them carte blanche to search every nook and cranny of your home?

Warrants must be limited in breadth and scope

The judge who signed the warrant determines the provisions of the warrant. Suppose the police are looking for your alleged accomplice in a robbery that used long guns. The warrant can specify the person and weapon they’re searching for.

That limits the places they can look in the home. They can’t open your desk drawers because neither a person nor a long gun could hide within the drawer.

If it’s in plain sight, it’s fair game

While the cops can’t reach beneath the couch for the secret tin full of marijuana you have hidden there when looking for a person, anything that is visibly in plain sight to the police can get you busted — whether the charges are related to their search or not. It is always prudent to keep your house visibly free of any illegal substance or potential evidence against you.

What to do when the police have a warrant

As soon as possible, call your criminal defense attorney to arrange for your bail or bond. If the police find something, offer no defense or denials and remember to exercise your right to remain silent. Once you have bonded out of jail, you can begin working with your attorney on a stalwart defense to the charges.