Search Warrants Part 2 - The Face Page

Search Warrants Part 2 -…

In my last blog post I discussed the importance of keeping calm when you're being served with a search warrant by a peace officer. In this post I'll discuss some of the details that your lawyer should be looking closely at when reviewing the warrant face page.

First of all, it's important to note that in California search warrants can come in different formats and layouts -- except that in each case the warrant should include both a face page that is signed by a magistrate and an affidavit.

The face page will generally have the order for the police officer (and any other identified individuals) to serve the warrant. It will also have a signed declaration by the officer. Your lawyer should be looking to determine that there is also a signature by a magistrate and that it is dated. Your lawyer will want to make sure that the warrant is being served within the allowable period. And your lawyer will want to know which magistrate signed the warrant, because the lawyer might have a sense of the magistrate's experience with warrants and what their position might be on litigating the warrant.

Your attorney will also want to check the warrant face page to make sure that the locations to be searched and the items to be seized are indicated there, and that there is enough specificity so that the law is not being violated when describing either the location(s) or items to be seized.