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When Are Search Warrants Necessary?


A search warrant is an order that gives police the authority to search a home for specific objects or materials. It is useful to know when a search warrant is required to search a home and when it is not required.

When a warrant is issued, police can only search the place that is described in the order. If the warrant specifies that the backyard is to be searched, they do not have the legal right to search the house. Aside from this restriction, if the warrant issued specifies that only weapons are to be searched for in a house, police do not have the legal right to search for drugs.

Although many situations do require police to have a warrant to perform a search on a person or a house, there are many other situations that do not require law enforcement to have a warrant. If there is evidence that is in plain view of an officer, a search warrant is not needed. For instance, if you are pulled over and an officer spots what appears to be marijuana in your vehicle, he can ultimately examine the evidence, seize it, and arrest you. Another situation in which an officer would not need a search warrant is when a search is conducted following an arrest. An officer has the right to search an arrestee once a lawful arrest has been made.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact us. We can fully explain the law regarding search warrants to you.