3 Things to Know About Search Warrants

3 Things to Know About Search Warrants

In many white collar criminal cases the first sign that an individual or corporation is under investigation is during the execution of a search warrant. This is when the authorities show up to search a premises with a legal document that gives them the right to do so.

During any investigation of a crime you have a number of rights. Your rights extend to both state and federal criminal proceedings. In general, statements or evidence against you obtained in violation of your rights may not be used against you in court.

The following are 3 things to know about search warrants:

  1. If law enforcement do not have a search warrant, you have the right to refuse a search.

In general, you have the right to refuse a search of your property in the absence of a search warrant. You have a Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure of property. However, if law enforcement has a search warrant, you must submit to the search.

The laws encompassing the rights afforded by the Fourth Amendment are complex and there are a number of caveats and nuances. If incriminating evidence against you was obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, you may be able to suppress that evidence from being used against you at trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to ascertain if your rights have been violated.

  1. Search warrants are executed without warning, and often in the early morning.

Search warrants are executed without warning in an attempt to avoid giving the opportunity for evidence to be hidden or destroyed. When a search warrant is executed against a corporation, often it will be during the early morning when the work day is just beginning.

The authorities will attempt to speak with the owner or manager on site. Law enforcement like to operate under the element of surprise and catch people off-guard. They will attempt to fluster the people they interview during the course of the search in an effort to obtain evidence.

  1. You have the right to contact an attorney immediately.

As soon as you are informed of a search warrant, you have the right to contact an attorney. The sooner you have representation, the better equipped you will be to protect your rights and obtain a more favorable outcome in the case against you. You do not have to answer questions posed by law enforcement without your attorney present. Exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney is by your side.

Further, an attorney can inform staff and management of their legal rights and where appropriate assists others in obtaining counsel of their own.

Protect Your Rights

If you are being investigated or have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you consult a criminal defense attorney immediately. Mounting a strong defense includes asserting your rights and understanding if your rights have been violated.

There is no white collar criminal case that is too complex or too challenging for us. No matter how difficult your case may appear, contact Ashley D. Adams, PLC for the legal protection you need.

Contact our Arizona fraud and criminal defense attorneys on the web or call (480) 219-1366 for a consultation and case evaluation. There is no substitute for the type of experience and diligent legal representation that a high-quality attorney can provide.

We practice excellence, one client at a time.


Our firm handles state criminal cases throughout Arizona including the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Chandler, Casa Grande, Florence, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, North Pinal and Sun City as well as those living in and around Maricopa County, Pinal County, Pima County, Yuma County and Yavapai County.

We handle federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.