Can you challenge a search warrant in court?

If you are stopped by the police or are part of an active investigation, they may want to search your property. In some cases, search warrants are granted based on flimsy evidence or claims, and if that happens to you, then you may want to challenge the warrant in court.

To get a search warrant, a police officer or investigator needs to contact the court with information about why they believe searching your property is reasonable in lieu of evidence or statements made in a case. Judges then decide if there is probable cause to search a property. If so, they grant the warrant.

A judge’s decision needs to be reasonable

In cases where the police will be searching a home or vehicle, they need a search warrant. The judge needs to be reasonable when deciding if there is probable cause to do so. If there is, then the search will normally be deemed as reasonable. That doesn’t mean that you can’t challenge that search warrant, though.

Some aspects of the warrant may be questioned, such as if the officer had enough evidence to pursue the search warrant to begin with. For example, and officer might make a statement such as “People with a spoon in the front seat often have drugs as well” before asking to search the vehicle. While that’s flimsy evidence, there is a potential that this, along with other factors, could lead to a search warrant being issued.

Search warrants should be granted based on evidence, not on assumptions. This goes for cases where drug dogs hit on a vehicle as well. Drug dogs need to have the appropriate training to search a vehicle from the outside. They also need to have a history of reliability. Failing this, your attorney may be able to argue that the evidence for the search was not strong enough.

Your attorney will talk to you about the search warrant that was issued as well as what happened prior to determine if a search of your home or vehicle was warranted. If there was not enough probable cause, then you may be able to have any findings excluded from your case.