The Fourth amendment of the United States Constitution, and Article One, Section Eight of the Pennsylvania Constitution protects people who live in the Commonwealth from unreasonable search and seizure of their homes and belongings by the police.
In order for the police to be permitted to search your home or belongings, they must comply with certain constitutional requirements. A valid search warrant requires a description of the place to be searched and the items to be seized. The warrant must describe with specificity and particularity the location and type of items to be seized, whether those items are drugs, weapons, or other contraband. A valid warrant must be signed by the authority that issues it. It should also state the name and department, agency, or address of the affiant. It should identify the owner or occupant of the place to be searched, and describe the crime which has been or is being committed and the facts and circumstances forming the probable cause necessary to believe that the items identified are unlawful and subject to seizure. It should also state why these items are expected to be in the placed to be searched.
Timing of a search warrant matters. In Pennsylvania, a warrant may be authorized for a search during the daytime or the night time. For a warrant to be authorized to be performed during the hours of 10 PM to 6 AM, reasonable cause must be shown as to the necessity of a nighttime search. A night time search is deemed to be more intrusive into a person’s life, and an explanation of why a nighttime search is necessary is required to perform one. A search that commences in the daytime may spill over into the night if not finished, and a warrant authorized for a night time search may be performed during the day. However, if a daytime warrant is not executed until the night time, the items taken may be considered illegally seized, and the evidence potentially suppressed in a criminal prosecution against you.
A warrant that does not conform to all of the above mentioned requirements does not automatically require suppression of the evidence. Instead, there is a determination to be made by the court at a suppression hearing about whether the admission of this evidence is a violation of your constitutional rights. A qualified attorney is essential to vindicate your constitutional rights! Frank Walker is an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the Pennsylvania and United States Constitution. Fight for your rights! Call Attorney Frank Walker today at 412-532-6805
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.