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Search Warrants



• The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects your privacy. You do not have to let any government official or police officer into your home unless they have a search or arrest warrant issued by a court of law. Even though it may look like you have something to hide, do not let them in. Not letting them in does not allow them to get a warrant because you refused to let them in.


• If a government official has a court-ordered search or arrest warrant, you cannot stop them from searching your property. If you try to do so you may be arrested. Be polite and let the police do their job.


• If the police or government officials have a search or arrest warrant, it must say exactly who or what they are looking for, the exact address of the house or apartment, and what parts of the house or apartment they can search. If the warrant says they can search your kitchen and evidence is in plain sight in the hallway and can be seen from the kitchen, it can be used as evidence.


• Always tell whoever has the search warrant that you do not consent or authorize them to search your property or person. This way you are protected if for some reason a court rules that the search warrant was obtained illegally.


• If the police or government officials have a search or arrest warrant, you have the right to watch them search your property.


• A search or arrest warrant DOES NOT mean you have to answer any questions or provide information.


Do not let individuals with outstanding arrest warrants stay at your house. Even though they may be friends or family, it gives police the right to obtain a warrant and you may face criminal charges.


Tell your roommates or house guests not to allow government officials to search your property, unless they have a search or arrest warrant. If they allow them to search your home without a warrant or your consent, anything they find can be used as evidence against you or other individuals.



* If you are arrested or detained, always use your right to remain silent no matter what anyone says or how afraid you are. Tell whoever is arresting you that you would like to contact or speak to a lawyer or legal representative before you answer any questions.


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