The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that requiring the government to have a warrant can be a sufficient protection. In many cases, acquiring a warrant is one of the first steps in starting a criminal investigation. For the subject of the investigation, the warrant is often the first indication that criminal charges could be filed.
Search and seizure warrants are often issued for the seizure of property. Warrants are issued for taking property from a home, business, or vehicle. In some cases, the warrant is issued to take property from a person’s body – such as a sample of saliva or blood.
If law enforcement officers in Escambia County or Santa Rosa County have seized your property or have executed a search warrant on your premises, then contact criminal defense attorney John Terrezza. If you were arrested, then it is imperative that you call an attorney and invoke your right to remain silent.
John Terrezza represents clients charged with a crime in Pensacola in Escambia County and in Milton in Santa Rosa County. He also takes federal cases prosecuted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
The United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Florida, and Florida Statute §993.04 govern the warrant requirements.
Florida Statute §993.04 mirrors the Fourth Amendment by stating, “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, shall not be violated….” The statute lays out the foundation of the legal guidelines for search and seizure law. For a warrant to be valid it must include all of the following:
Without these four requirements contained in Florida Statute 933.08, there is no valid Florida warrant. Warrants must be executed in no later than ten (10) days after being issues, and no blank warrants may be issued.
Probable cause is a very important component and must be present in all warrants. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that probable cause exists when, under all of the facts and circumstances, a reasonable law enforcement officer would believe that a crime is about to take place.
The different types of warrants in Florida can include:
There are some instances where law enforcement officers are not required to have a warrant to execute an arrest, conduct a search, or make a seizure. Exceptions to the warrant requirement include:
The law deems the home the most private domain that citizens have. Florida Statute §933.18 outlines the circumstances under which warrants may be issued for a search of a private dwelling. No search warrants may be issued in a home unless the home is being used for or contains evidence of:
SWAT Team in Escambia County – Visit the website of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to learn more about how the 25 members of the SWAT team in Escambia County are specially trained to assist other members of the agency with the execution of search warrants.
Florida Chapter 933 –Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature to find all of the important statutes that govern warrants in the State of Florida.
The Florida Crime Access System –Visit the Department of Law Enforcement to find a searchable database that contains information about outstanding arrest warrants issued in Florida.
If law enforcement officers in Pensacola, Florida, have issued an arrest or search warrant against you, or your home or car has been searched by law enforcement, call an attorney now to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact John Terrezza, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Escambia County, FL.
Call (850) 764-5291 or submit your information for a free evaluation of your case.
This article was last updated on Monday, December 11, 2016.