asking about a search warrant

on a search warrant affidavit where it says judge then there is a line for jugde to sign,Can a magristrate cross out where it says judge and sing his name?

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes. The printed line is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the person signing the warrant has legal authority to sign it.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitutions provides "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The Supreme Court has held that warrants may be issued by a "judicial officer" or a "magistrate."

A Federal Magistrate can execute a warrant, and usually handles pre-trial matters, such as the initial appearance of a defendant before a judge, arraignment, taking pleas of guilty or not guilty, setting bail and deciding if the defendant should be detained or released pending trial.

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