A search warrant is a document issued by a court and that court's judge that authorizes law enforcement officials to search a person or their property for evidence that can help a criminal case and it allows law enforcement officials to seize those items needed for the case. When there is a criminal inquiry, the United States Constitution requires that law enforcement officials obtain a search warrant before conducting any type of search. There is a major exception though: if a suspect flees the scene of a crime or a traffic stop and the officer pursues the suspect; the officer is allowed to enter into any building that the suspect runs into and can do so without a search warrant.
Search warrants must be specific and reasonable before they are granted by the judge in a court of law.
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Some of the specifics they must include are the following:
Search warrants are not needed when police officers make routine traffic stops on the roads of the United States. When a traffic stop occurs, the officer can conduct a search of the vehicle with probable cause or if illegal items are in plain view of the officer's vision. The illegal items can be drugs, alcohol, or weapons. Other times when search warrants are not needed are:
Search warrants are not that difficult to obtain by law enforcement officials so long as they present enough probable cause to the judge issuing the warrant. If the police are able to present a piece of evidence that supports their request for a search warrant then it makes the decision of the judge much easier when it comes to granting the warrant.