A search warrant is a court-sanctioned document that gives police officers permission to search a person’s property for evidence of criminal activity. Legally, the police aren’t allowed to search your property if they don’t have a warrant. However, are there exceptions to this rule? What all do you need to know about your rights relating to search warrants in Louisiana?
Although it may sound simple, there is quite a bit to learn about Louisiana search warrants in order to make sure your rights are respected and protected. If you have any questions or think that your rights may have been violated in relation to a search warrant, our skilled team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm can help you make sure your rights are protected.
Understanding How Search Warrants Work
Before discussing the specifics of search warrants in Louisiana, it’s important to understand the basics. Generally speaking, a search warrant will specify the place that can be searched and what evidence police officers are looking for. It must also list the reasons why the court believes there is probable cause for a search.
In other words, there must be some reasonable belief that criminal activity has been happening or is about to happen at the location listed on the warrant, or that there may be evidence related to a case currently residing at the location. Once these criteria have been met, law enforcement officials may enter and search the premises according to their warrant.
Securing a Search Warrant
In order to secure a search warrant in this state, an officer must appear before a judge and provide evidence of probable cause. The officer must also list the items to be seized from the search. Once the application is approved, a warrant will be issued that allows police officers to enter and search the property in question.
It’s important to note that a warrant must be served by a law enforcement official within three days of its issuance. Furthermore, it can only be used during daylight hours unless otherwise specified on the document itself.
Furthermore, an officer may also seize any items not listed on the warrant. This means that if they find something incriminating while searching your property, they can take it with them as evidence. Also, a search warrant can only be served once unless an extension is granted. Once the officers have completed their search and seized any items listed on the warrant, they must leave the premises immediately.
Conditions of Issuing Search Warrants in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a judge can only grant a search warrant if certain conditions are met, such as:
- That there is reasonable cause to believe that an offense has been committed
- That the particular property subject to the search is connected to the offense
- That the items or evidence is likely to be found in the place to be searched
Additionally, officers must provide a detailed affidavit explaining why they believe there is probable cause for their search.
Your Rights as a Louisiana Resident
It’s important to know your rights when it comes to search warrants in Louisiana. As a resident of the state, you have the right to be informed of the reason for any search and what evidence is being seized. You also have the right to request an inventory list of any items that were taken from your property after the search has been completed.
Officers also cannot use physical force or threaten violence during their search. If they do, you have legal recourse available to you.
Contact an Experienced Search Warrant Attorney in Louisiana
If you or someone you know has been served with a search warrant in Louisiana, it’s important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm right away. Our legal team can help you every step of the way during the legal process to make sure your rights are protected.
We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality legal representation possible. Contact us today at (318) 377-1555 or submit our contact form to learn more about how we can help with your case.