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Warrant Requirements

Posted by attorney Andrew Morgan

Under the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, police are required to obtain a search warrant prior to seizing items from private property. Your Florida criminal defense lawyer will undoubtedly review not only the warrant used in the seizure of your property, but also the method used by the police in conducting the search. If any aspect of the search and seizure process is deemed to be in violation of the constitutions of the United States and Florida, the judge will suppress the evidence found, and it cannot be used against you in your criminal trial.

Identification of items to be seized

Prior to searching a private home or business, the police must submit a verified affidavit to a judge detailing the probable cause giving rise to the need for a search or seizure. This affidavit must contain enough detail to satisfy the judge that it is likely that a crime is underfoot and evidence of the crime will be found in the property named on the warrant. However, warrants are not unlimited and must specify the areas to be searched and specific items to be seized. These descriptions cannot be vague and must precisely name what the executing office is allowed to search.


Your Florida criminal defense lawyer will compare the original search warrant with the supporting affidavit. The purpose of this exercise is to make certain the warrant was given pursuant to specific information provided by the officer. The warrant or its supporting affidavit cannot be overly broad and must describe searchable areas with accuracy.

Intellectual property

Sometimes, police need to search records or books to uncover the contents therein. In this event, your Florida criminal defense lawyer will make certain that the warrant contains a higher degree of particularity. This scenario unfolds often in investigations into unlawful obscene material or pornography, or other investigations requiring the police to search books, computers, or photographs.

If you were recently arrested pursuant to a search and seizure warrant and would like to discuss your legal options with a Florida criminal defense lawyer, the attorneys at Canan Law can help. Contact them today at 904-824-9402.

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