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Warrants, validity thereof

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john maguire

Junior Member
I'm at home.
There's a knock at the door.
I answer it and discover some men (maybe uniformed police officers, maybe guys in suit & tie who claim to be detectives with nothing more than shiny metal badges to back up that claim).
They say they want to search my home, and that they have a warrant to do so.

How do I know what a valid search warrant (in my state, county, city) looks like?

How do I verify that the name & signature of the "judge" that issued the warrant is a real judge? Do all judges have the authority to issue warrants? Or might that be the privilege of just some select few judges?
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
I'm at home.
There's a knock at the door.
I answer it and discover some men (maybe uniformed police officers, maybe guys in suit & tie who claim to be detectives with nothing more than shiny metal badges to back up that claim).
They say they want to search my home, and that they have a warrant to do so.

How do I know what a valid search warrant (in my state, county, city) looks like?

How do I verify that the name & signature of the "judge" that issued the warrant is a real judge? Do all judges have the authority to issue warrants? Or might that be the privilege of just some select few judges?
Is this a hypothetical situation?
 

quincy

Senior Member
I'm at home.
There's a knock at the door.
I answer it and discover some men (maybe uniformed police officers, maybe guys in suit & tie who claim to be detectives with nothing more than shiny metal badges to back up that claim).
They say they want to search my home, and that they have a warrant to do so.

How do I know what a valid search warrant (in my state, county, city) looks like?

How do I verify that the name & signature of the "judge" that issued the warrant is a real judge? Do all judges have the authority to issue warrants? Or might that be the privilege of just some select few judges?
I see from your other threads that you live in California.

You can visit your local police department or court to see what a warrant looks like.

You can ask for the identification of those at your door and you can call the department to verify the men at your door are who they say they are. And you can call your attorney.

Are you expecting a knock on your door?
 
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CdwJava

Senior Member
You can ask for identification and verification, but keep in mind that they may not be willing to wait while you go through the motions of trying to seek verification. In our world that often means you are stalling while destroying evidence or preparing an attack. USUALLY we try and have a uniformed presence or officers in clearly identified clothing at the door to forestall such demands.

Whether you will be granted the time and patience to satisfy your curiosity will depend upon the nature of the crimes suspected that led up to the issuing of the warrant, and what they suspect about you.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
If you doubt someone is an actual LEO, you can always call 911. If they're real it should be readily determined. If they're not, they're committing a crime and the police should be involved anyway.

As pointed out, depending on what they are searching for, they may not be inclined to wait for you to verify who they are. In that case, you'll have to deal with things afterward (either a complaint to the police or if they find any evidence that leads to charges against you, follow up with an attorney). If they are real police and you question the validity of the warrant, there's not much you can do at the scene. An attorney can determine if they had a warrant (and it was properly issued). Anything that arises from the search can be suppressed if it wasn't valid.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Define 'hypothetical situation'.

This has NOT happened to me in the past.
This is NOT happening to me at this moment.
Isn't that what this website is for? i.e., Prepare . . . . or prepare to be surprised.
The following definitions are from Webster’s New World Dictionary.
hypothetical: based on, involving, or having the nature of a hypothesis; assumed; supposed.
hypothesis: an unproved theory, proposition, supposition, etc., tentatively accepted to explain certain facts or (working hypothesis) to provide a basis for further investigation, argument, etc.

This forum is to help people address the real life legal issues they are currently facing.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Isn’t the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared?”

If John is a good Boy Scout, he probably does not have to worry about all that he seems to be worried about.
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
You don't verify the validity of a search warrant at the time of the search. You challenge the validity of the warrant in court in a motion to suppress the evidence seized, or in a civil case against the police for violating your right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
 

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