A criminal defense lawyer in New York state needs to know if a search warrant was used to collect any evidence against an accused. It is important to the defense of a felony or misdemeanor to attack any search warrant.
A search warrant is a court order that directs a police officer or other law enforcement to search of the purpose of seizing designated property or kinds of property and to deliver any property obtained to the Court that issued the warrant. A search warrant can be for a premises, vehicle or person. Search warrants can be used in any type of case or investigation including a Felony or Misdemeanor.
Who can apply for a warrant?
Any law enforcement body can apply to a court for a search warrant. This includes the State Police, local police departments or District Attorney Investigators. The Courts that can issue a warrant include local criminal courts such was the White Plains city court, Pleasantville justice court or the Greenburgh Drug Task Force (includes several justice courts) in Westchester County.
Contents of the Search Warrant
A search warrant in Federal Court or New York State Court must sworn to and can only be issued upon probable cause particularly describing the place to be search and the property to be seized. A warrant that fails to describe the things to be seized will be invalid and the warrant must accurately describe the premises to be searched.
Execution of a Search Warrant
The police can only search with the warrant in their possession and must if requested show it to the individual whose vehicle, premise or person is going to be searched. During the execution of a search warrant it is advisable to NEVER make any statements to the police. Contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Suppression of Evidence obtained as a result of the Search Warrant
The criminal defense attorney is entitled to the search warrant and any supporting affidavits as part of discovery in the criminal action. The criminal defense lawyer will then make a motion to supress any physical evidence recovered. This will usually result in a hearing before a Judge to determine if the warrant was sufficient and if the property was seized lawfully.
Types of Search Warrants
Search Warrants are used to obtain evidence such as drugs from a premises usually after the result of some police investigation sometimes with the statement of an informant. In certain cases computers can also be seized for the information they may obtain.
The best way for the accused to protect themselves is to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.