Search Warrant, various types of:

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search warrant:

1. Criminal law. A judge’s written order authorizing a law-enforcement officer to conduct a search of a specified place and to seize evidence.  See Fed. R. Crim. P. 41. — aka search-and-seizure warrant. [1]

1. A form of criminal process which may be invoked only in furtherance of a public prosecution.  An order in writing, in the name of the people, the state, or the commonwealth, according to the local practice, signed by a magistrate, and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property and bring it before a magistrate. 47 Am J1st Search § 3.

An examination or inspection, by authority of law, of one’s premises or person, with a view to the discovery of stolen contraband, or illicit property, or some evidence of guilt to be used in the prosecution of a criminal action for some crime or offense with which he is charges. 47 Am J1st Search § 4. [2]

1. An order in writing issued by a magistrate or other judicial officer and directed to a law enforcement officer, commanding her to search for and seize stolen, contraband, or illicit property, or other property evidencing the commission of a crime. [3]

search-warrant affidavit – an affidavit that sets forth facts and circumstances supporting the existence of probable cause, requesting the judge to issue a search warrant

knock-and-announce rule – officers must knock and announce their identity, authority, and purpose before entering a residence to execute an arrest or search warrant. — aka knock-and-notice rule.

  • no-knock search warrant – a type of search warrant that authorizes exception to the knock-and-announce rule because a prior announcement would probably lead to the destruction of the objects searched for or someone(s) safety.

Various Types of Search Warrants:

warranted search (1968) A search conducted under authority of a search warrant.

all-persons-present search warrant (1989) A search warrant that allows the police to search everyone present at a location identified in the warrant.

anticipatory search warrant (1973) A conditional search warrant that becomes effective only if and when some event occurs that itself creates the probable cause that permits the search.  *  For example, an anticipatory search warrant might take effect upon the mail delivery and acceptance of a package that tests positive for contraband.

blanket search warrant (1921) 1 A single search warrant that authorizes the search of more than one area. 2. An unconstitutional warrant that authorizes the seizure of everything found at a given location, without specifying which items may be seized.  See general warrant (2) under WARRANT (1).

covert-entry search warrant (2004) A warrant authorizing law-enforcement officers to clandestinely enter private premises in the absence of the owner or occupant without prior notice, and to search the premises and collect intangible evidence, esp. photographs and eyewitness information.  *  Although previously used in federal criminal investigations, these types of warrants were first given express statutory authority by the USA Patriot Act. 18 USCA § 3103a.  Information gathered while executing a sneak-and-peek warrant can later be used to support a search warrant under which physical evidence can be seized. — aka sneak-and-peek search warrant; surreptitious-entry search warrant.

> general search warrant. (18c) Hist. A search warrant that specihes neither the place to be searched nor a particular person to be apprehended, giving the holder almost limitless discretion. 0 General warrants violate the Fourth Amendment.

> no-knock search warrant. (1972) A search warrant that authorizes the police to enter premises without knocking and announcing their presence and purpose before entry because a prior announcement would lead to the destruction of the objects searched for or would endanger the safety of the police or another person. See no-knock search under SEARCH (1). Cf. KNOCK-AND-ANNOUNCE RULE .

video-surveillance warrant – (1985) A search warrant permlttlng police to use video cameras or similar devrces, with or without recording what is viewed.

search-warrant affidavit. See AFFIDAVIT.


search order (1979 A court order directing a probation officer to search a probationer or the probationer’s residence upon reasonable suspicion that a condition of probation has been violated. [1]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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