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Can the police seize an item not specified in a search warrant?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When you are a suspect in a crime, the police may want to search you and your property to obtain relevant evidence. Hence, they will get a search warrant from a judge. The warrant will specify items that should be seized. But this may not limit the police from confiscating items not listed on the warrant.

This guide discusses this matter in-depth.

They can seize contraband in plain sight

The police can seize items not included in a search warrant when they are in plain sight and if it’s immediately apparent to them that they are evidence of a crime, contraband or the fruits of a crime.

If this happens to you, it may be challenging to use improper seizure to get the judge to stop the seized item from being used as evidence.

What about a person’s consent?

The police may search someone or their property without a warrant if they have their consent to do so. However, it can be unlawful for them to seize an item when the search was based on consent. The police may need a reason beyond consent to do so.

If they believe the person has or will have items subject to lawful seizure, they should obtain a search warrant. They should not rely on their consent as authorization for a search and seizure.

If the police searched your property and seized items not signed off by a judge, it may be time to get legal help to know the moves to make to protect your rights.