Can the police search a home without producing a warrant?

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Can the police search a home without producing a warrant?

Approximately 12 years ago I was convicted of welfare fraud and sentenced to 2 years in prison with 13 months of parole. I had a handgun registered to my name prior to my conviction. Now, all these years later, I had about 20 police standing in front of my home with assault rifles pointed at my house speaking from a megaphone to step out of the house. We stepped outside. They cuffed my family. I asked them for a search warrantand all they said is yes we do have one (I never saw the search warrant nor received a copy.) I told the police my gun’s location. Are they allowed to search my house without showing me the warrant?

Asked on October 21, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal requirement that the police show you the warrant. In fact, many times they are obtained over the phone from an "on-call" judge; therefore the actual warrant itself  may not be available. Most officers will show you the face page of a warrant to avoid any confrontations or to convince you there is a warrant, but it's not a legal requirement.

However, the law surrounding search warrants can be quite complex - was the warrant valid in the first place; was the execution valid; etc?  If you have any questions surrounding this search, you really need to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. 


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