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Agreeing with a search warrant

This content about Police Misconduct was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

Police officers often need to search people and places to obtain information and material for investigations. Through the Exclusionary Rule, evidence obtained through a wrongful search and seizure may sometimes be used directly in a criminal trial, if the prosecution can show a sufficient attenuation of the link between police misconduct and obtaining the evidence (as explained here by Cornell LII), but this type of situation is not common.

To avoid any unnecessary problems, and depending on the situation, officers should obtain a search warrant to search for what they need without falling into police misconduct behavior.

What is a Search Warrant?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “an official document that gives police officers the authority to search a building for stolen property, illegal goods, or information that might help to solve a crime”

What happens if you agree with the search warrant?

If you voluntarily consent to a search of your home, car, or person, then the officer can conduct the entire search without a warrant. Anything the officer finds can later be used against you in court.

As explained in this article posted on Nolo’s website “If the police limit their search to whatever the person agreed to, the search will usually be valid. But courts don’t necessarily require that the police ask for permission before searching each and every room or object; they often find that the initial consent was broad enough to justify whatever search the officers conducted, so long as the police officer’s interpretation of the consent was reasonable.

For example, if a tenant consents to a search of his or her “house,” a court may determine that a reasonable interpretation of “house” includes rooms, closets, attics, and basements located within the dwelling. On the other hand, a reasonable interpretation of “house” may not include vehicles, backyard storage sheds, detached greenhouses, or any buildings or property located outside the dwelling

Courts consider consent valid if the police reasonably believed that the consenting person had the authority to consent, even if it turned out that he or she didn’t. And officers don’t have to warn people that they have a right to refuse consent to a search. (Florida v. Jimeno, 500 U.S. 248 (1991), Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U.S. 177 (1990), Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218 (1973).)”

Searches and Police Misconduct

The Police Misconduct Provision it’s a law that makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (34 U.S.C. § 12601).

The types of conduct covered by the Police Misconduct Provision can include, among other things, excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests. In order to be covered by this law, the misconduct must constitute a “pattern or practice” — it may not simply be an isolated incident, as stated in this article of the DOJ website.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content about Police Misconduct was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.