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Answering Your Questions About Search Warrants in Texas

 Posted on October 07, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Fairview Search and Seizure AttorneyFortunately, Americans have important rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. One of these rights is the right to be free from unjustified searches of their personal property. In many cases, police or other government officials must get a search warrant before they can search a person’s property. However, there are also situations in which a search warrant is not required. It is important for every Texan to know their rights and understand when police have the right to search their home, vehicle, or personal property. This is especially true if you are facing criminal charges.

When Do Police Need a Search Warrant to Search Someone’s Property?

Police officers generally need a search warrant to search someone’s house, apartment, or other dwelling place. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Police can search your home without a warrant if you or someone else who lives there gives them permission to search. Police may also be able to conduct a warrantless search if someone is in immediate danger or evidence is being destroyed. Police may also seize evidence in clear view. For example, if you are talking to police on your front porch and they see needles and drugs in your living room, they may have the right to seize these items and place you under arrest for drug possession.

Cars, trucks, vans, and other automobiles fall under the vehicle exemption. Police do not need a search warrant to search your car but they do need “probable cause” or a good reason to believe a crime has or will be committed.

How Do Police Get a Search Warrant?

Search warrants are court orders issued by magistrates. When police request a search warrant from a magistrate, they submit an affidavit listing:

  • Their reasons for requesting a search warrant

  • The crime they believe has been committed on the property

  • An assertion that evidence of the crime is likely to be found on the property

  • A search warrant may be considered invalid if the affidavit does not establish probable cause satisfactorily or contains false information.

What is an Illegal Search?

If a search is conducted without a search warrant or probable cause, the search may be considered illegal. Evidence discovered during an illegal search is inadmissible due to the “exclusionary rule.” For example, if police discovered evidence of a methamphetamine laboratory, but it was later revealed that the search warrant they used to discover the lab was invalid, the evidence they found may be inadmissible. This could lead to dismissal of any criminal charges resulting from the search. Criminal defense attorneys can use a motion to suppress evidence to request that evidence be excluded due to an illegal search.

Contact a Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, contact the Frisco criminal defense attorneys at Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. right away. Our skilled team can determine whether your charges may be based on an illegal search. Call us at 469-333-3333 for a free, confidential case assessment.




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