Search warrants can uncover all kinds of information. Sometimes what they uncover is shocking. Near Oklahoma City, a mother in Edmond was accused of stealing from her daughter’s cheerleading booster club. After teenagers confronted the woman’s son about the missing funds, the woman herself got involved in public disputes via social media, drawing much attention. The police obtained a search warrant to scour her bank accounts, which revealed she had embezzled thousands, spending it on herself and her son’s football career.

What is a Search Warrant?

According to Cornell University Law School’s dictionary, a search warrant is a permit provided by the competent authority (such as a Judge) authorizing a police officer to search a particular location for evidence with or without the consent of the occupant.  Generally a search warrant is necessary to authorize a Fourth Amendment search, except in a few instances.

Can officers search without a warrant?

From time to time, police can execute a search without a warrant, and most searches often do happen without warrants being issued. However, this does not mean police can barge into your residence and examine it without having a warrant. If there is no probably cause for a search, and there is also a reasonable expectation of privacy, officers must have a warrant.

Are there exceptions?

Even in the case there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, there are exemptions to the rules. Some search warrant exemptions are:

  1. Consent from the property owner – owner gives permission for the search
  2. The plain view doctrine – when the entity for which police are searching is in plain view
  3. Search incident to arrest – if someone is already under arrest, their property is fair game for inspection.
  4. Exigent Circumstances – if officers feel that the public would be in further danger in the time it would take to obtain a warrant, they may search without one.

Oklahoma City Seizure and Forfeiture Attorney

At Robert Robles Law Firm are here for you regardless of the circumstances requiring legal representation. We offer confidential initial consultations for free. Call now at 405-232-7980 or contact us online.