April 26, 2017
It’s never good news to hear you have a warrant out for your arrest or for the search of your home, especially if you believe the warrant is unjustified or was issued in violation of your constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If a warrant is issued in violation of this constitutional standard or in violation of Florida law, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to have the warrant recalled by a court of law.
Your Right to Be Free from Search and Seizure
In order for law enforcement to request a warrant be issued for your arrest, the search of your home, or both, an office must appear before a Florida judge and, under oath, present the facts he or she believes entitles the police to a warrant. These facts must amount to what is known as “probable cause,” which is defined as having information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed or that evidence of a crime is located in a specific location. Because there is no precise definition of probable cause, it is up to a judicial official to determine whether it exists in any given circumstance.
Nonetheless, a higher court has the power to review the issuance of a warrant and invalidate that warrant if your attorney can show that it was based on mere speculation and that the suspicion did not amount to probable cause. In this instance, a warrant can be recalled if it was issued in violation of constitutional standards or Florida law.
Excluding Evidence Found with an Invalid Warrant
Although most individuals may not know a warrant has been issued until the police are knocking at their door, there are ways to “backdate” a warrant’s invalidity. This is known as the “exclusionary rule,” and it holds that any evidence obtained as the result of a bad warrant must generally be excluded from criminal proceedings. Such evidence can include the following:
- Weapons, whether legal or otherwise;
- Drugs or drug paraphilia;
- Papers and documents;
- DNA or biological evidence; and
- Technology, such as computers and phones.
Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately Upon a Search and Seizure
If you have been the victim of a search and seizure you believe to be the result of a defective warrant, there are ways to recall and invalidate both the warrant and the results of the search. The Khonsari Law Group has attorneys who will protect you from invalid searches and throughout the criminal justice process. Contact them today for a free, confidential consultation online or at (727) 269-5300.