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What is needed for a valid search warrant in Illinois?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2019 | Criminal Defense

When investigating crime, police in Lake County collect various kinds of evidence to bolster the state’s case. One major category of evidence is physical evidence. For drug crimes, physical evidence could include drugs and paraphernalia allegedly found in the suspect’s possession. When collecting this evidence, police must follow rules laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Illinois Supreme Court.

As a general rule, police need a search warrant before they can enter a person’s home on private property. One exception is that police may not need a warrant to stop a suspect from destroying evidence on their property. There may also be an exception to the rule if the evidence is in plain view. If the police come onto a suspect’s property for a legitimate purpose and they see the evidence in plain view, any ensuing search and seizure may be legal.

Suspects sometimes consent to a search of their property by the police. In these cases, the evidence discovered by police is usually admissible in court. Without consent, the police will probably need a search warrant to search a property. A search warrant is granted by a judge. Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, police must describe the places they want to search and the items they are looking for. The police cannot get a vaguely worded warrant in order to go on a fishing expedition for evidence.

Although police need to describe the places they want to search and the items they are looking for, they need to provide more information to get a valid warrant that a judge can sign. They must also show the judge that there is probable cause that a crime occurred. Additionally, they must show that the evidence sought will likely be found in the specified location on the property or person that is the subject of the search warrant.