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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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New Jersey Search Warrants in White-Collar Cases Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | May 23, 2023
(Last Updated On: May 23, 2023)

Last Updated on: 23rd May 2023, 11:38 am

What You Need to Know About Search Warrants: A Comprehensive Guide

Imagine you’re at your office or home, when suddenly, federal law enforcement officers storm the premises with a legal document in hand – a search warrant. This piece of paper grants them the authority to search and seize any incriminating evidence. It’s a terrifying and bewildering experience, but by understanding the laws that govern search warrants, you can better protect yourself and your rights.

The Fourth Amendment and Search Warrant Criteria

Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, search warrants must meet specific criteria to be valid. The amendment dictates that a warrant can only be issued if there is probable cause, supported by an oath or affirmation, which clearly describes both the place to be searched and the persons or items to be seized. This fundamental right protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, ensuring that law enforcement officers follow strict guidelines.

Understanding Probable Cause in Search Warrants

The concept of “probable cause” is crucial when it comes to search warrants. This term signifies that officers must reasonably suspect that sufficient evidence of a crime exists in a particular location. After establishing probable cause, they must swear out the search warrant in front of a federal judge, who will then approve or deny the request. The entire process must be executed meticulously, as any errors could jeopardize the case and potentially result in its invalidation. Here are the key requirements of probable cause:

  • There must be probable cause that a crime has occurred.
  • Probable cause must suggest that the specified location contains evidence of the crime.
  • In cases involving digital evidence, the search warrant affidavit must detail the connection between the crime and the evidence.
  • The affidavit must also outline the relationship between the evidence and the suspected individual.

If a search warrant is granted without meeting the probable cause criteria, it can be contested in court and potentially see the case thrown out due to invalidity.

Defining Search Areas: Staying Within the Lines

A search warrant must explicitly indicate the areas that federal officers are authorized to search. It may only apply to a single home or office, even if the person under investigation owns additional properties. Officers must not deviate from the specified search areas, as doing so could risk invalidating the entire case. Each state has its laws outlining eligible property for a search. For example, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure designates the following items as searchable:

  • Illegally obtained property, such as stolen or fraudulent goods
  • Property explicitly crafted or adapted for committing an offense
  • Contraband, including illegal drugs and weapons
  • Prohibited gambling equipment
  • Materials deemed obscene, such as child pornography
  • Any property containing evidence regarding a crime

Items Subject to Confiscation

Search warrants must also detail which items and documents can be seized as evidence. If federal agents confiscate items not expressly permitted by the warrant, such as computers or financial records, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible in court. A judge could suppress any evidence obtained in violation of the search warrant’s terms.

Before agents conduct their search, they must serve the alleged suspect with a copy of the search warrant or visibly post it in a prominent location. Exceptions to this rule include situations involving “sneak and peek” warrants, where officers are not obligated to notify the suspect.

Additionally, officers are not always required to identify themselves or announce their presence before serving a warrant or proceeding with their search. This is because digital evidence can be quickly destroyed, and revealing their presence may place their safety at risk.

The primary goal of a search warrant is to catch the suspect off-guard, disrupting any potential criminal activity and making it harder to build a defense against the charges. This situation can be emotionally charged and disorienting, which is why it is crucial to secure legal advice and guidance from an experienced lawyer.

At Spodek Law Group, we understand the fear, confusion, and uncertainty that arises with a search warrant. Our skilled attorneys will provide you with the best legal representation, tirelessly advocating for your rights and safeguarding your future. Don’t navigate this difficult time alone – trust in our team to guide you through the complex process and protect your rights every step of the way.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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