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Everything You Need to Know About Search Warrants in Arizona

April 10, 2020

If you’re like most people, you probably know what a search warrant is. Everybody has seen movies or television shows where a police officer knocks on someone’s door and announces that they have a search warrant. But what exactly does it mean to serve a warrant? What does it mean when you are served with one in the state of Arizona? If you want to protect your rights after your arrest, it’s important to understand what a search warrant means. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a search warrant?

A search warrant is a legal document issued by a judge to a law enforcement officer, authorizing that officer to search a specific location in order to find a person or property.

When can a search warrant be issued?

In the state of Arizona, there are several grounds under which a search warrant may be issued:

● A search warrant may be authorized so an officer can look for property that has been stolen or embezzled.

● A warrant can also be issued to search for property that has been used to commit a public offense, or that an individual is intending to use to commit such an offense.

● If a location needs to be searched as part of a safety, health, or welfare inspection, then a warrant may be issued for that purpose.

● Finally, a search warrant can be issued in order to search a location for a person who has an outstanding warrant for their arrest.

What are the legal requirements for a search warrant?

In order to be valid, a search warrant needs to be requested by a law enforcement officer and issued by a judge. The warrant must specify the place to be searched and the person or property that is being sought. In addition, the officer who is requesting the warrant must show that there is probable cause to search.

When can a search warrant be served?

Under Arizona law, a search warrant can only be served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless the judge has specified in writing that the warrant can be served at any time.

Do you have to comply with a search warrant?

Yes. If a law enforcement officer has a search warrant, then you are legally obligated to permit them to search the location described in the warrant. However, you can still challenge the validity of the search warrant in court.

Can the officer searching your home seize any property?

The officer may not seize any property or persons that are not specifically mentioned in the search warrant.

Does an officer always need a search warrant in order to perform a search?

There are certain circumstances under which an officer may do a search without having a warrant. For example, if the officer is in a place where they are legally permitted to be, such as outside your door, and they can see illegal property or evidence of illegal actions in plain sight, then they can search your house without a warrant. An officer may also decide to perform a search without a warrant if they feel that it is necessary to prevent the destruction of evidence or the escape of a dangerous fugitive. Finally, you may verbally consent to the search. If your home has been searched by an officer without a warrant, it’s important to speak with an attorney so you can determine whether the officer acted lawfully.

Does a search warrant mean that you must talk to an officer?

No, you are not legally obligated to say anything to an officer who issues you a search warrant. In fact, anything you say to the officer can be used to prosecute you later. That’s why you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your property has been searched.

If an officer takes your property, do they have to provide you with a receipt?

Yes. Under Arizona law, an officer must provide you with a detailed receipt if they confiscate your property.

If you’re looking for an attorney to help you defend yourself against a criminal charge, then it’s time to get in touch with Janet Altschuler. Ms. Altschuler brings more than two decades of
experience as a criminal defense attorney to each client, and she knows the local laws and courts well. She is committed to fighting hard to protect your rights and gain a successful outcome for your case. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, call (520) 247-1789 today.