a.         No warrants issued without probable cause.


Probable Cause – A set of facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable and prudent person  to believe a crime has been committed and a particular person committed it.





1)         Probable cause that a crime was committed 2) that a particular piece of evidence 3) is at a particular location 4) at a particular time.


b.         The examination of a person or area in order to discover evidence, contraband or weapons.  A search may be a systematic combing of a premise or something as simple as turning over a piece of stereo equipment to check the serial number.




a.         Written order of a court authorizing the officer serving it to search the area name for the evidence and contraband described and to seize such items if they are found.

b.         So there is no chance of having the search ruled unconstitutional if something is found.  Less ability to challenge because issued on Judge’s authority.  Is a presumption of legality when a warrant exists.

c.         A sworn statement of probable cause for a search warrant, sworn to before a judge empowered to issue the search warrant.  Must contain probable cause, items to be searched for and location to be searched.

d.         Probable cause can become stale.  General rule is no more than 24 - 36 hours old.

            e.         Places where the things you are looking for can reasonably be.

f.          Reasonable time – when you have found all items or have searched all places where they could have been found.

            g.         Ten (10) days

h.         Once you leave, cannot come back without another warrant unless there is emergency, then can go back when emergency ends.




            a.         Knock loudly enough to be heard throughout premises


                        1)         State authority

                        2)         State purpose

                        3)         Demand entry




                        1)         Compliance

                        2)         Refusal

                        3)         Silence

                        4)         Ambiguous response




1)         Compliance – enter with caution

2)         Refusal – Enter immediately using reasonable amount of force if necessary.

3)         Silence and Ambiguous response – wait a reasonable amount of time depending on destructibility of evidence you are searching for, then if no compliance, enter using reasonable amount of force.


            d.         Reasonable time to allow compliance

            e.         The destructibility of the evidence for which you are searching

            f.          Reasonable force






1)         Occupied – give them copy of search warrant and read it to them or have them read.

                        2)         Occupant arrested – same as above

3)         Unoccupied – leave copy of warrant and inventory where can be easily found.



1)         Occupied – inventory all items seized – have sign inventory if possible.

                        2)         Occupant arrested – place inventory in their pocket

3)         Unoccupied – leave copy of warrant and inventory where can be easily found.




                        1)         Occupied – their responsibility

                        2)         Unoccupied – secure the premises




1)         Secure evidence and return warrant and inventory to the prosecutor and judge with two (2) days of execution


6.         In Wilson v. Lane, 199 S.Ct. 1692 (1999), the Supreme Court decided that inviting the media to accompany officers when serving a search warrant in a private area is a violation of the occupants’ Fourth Amendment rights.