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Requirements for a valid search warrant in Louisiana

Although there are times when police in Louisiana are able to search a person's home or the person himself without a warrant, generally, police are required to have a warrant to make a legal search. If a search of a defendant has been conducted, the defendant may be wondering what the requirements are for such a warrant.

First of all, police need probable cause to be issued a search warrant by a judge. The police must prove to the judge that they have probable cause to believe illegal activity is taking place, and they must provide the judge with an affidavit citing enough credible facts to satisfy the probable cause element.

In addition, a search warrant must describe with particularity who may be searched and where the search will take place. It must also describe the items or persons facing seizure, along with the legal reasoning as to why the seizure or search is taking place.

The warrant requirement is part of the U.S. Constitution via the Fourth Amendment, which grants people the right to not be subjected to unreasonable seizures or searches. If an officer violates the law and performs an illegal search, then the evidence obtained from the search may not be used against a person in court.

The Fourth Amendment is one of the mainstays of our criminal justice system. Criminal defense attorneys in Louisiana may be able to provide residents with more information regarding search warrants and the Fourth Amendment. Louisiana residents deserve to not be subjected to an illegal search or seizure.

Source: legis.state.la.us, "CCRP 162," Accessed Jan. 11, 2015

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