Search Warrants Issued in Florida

The requirements for the issuance of a search warrant are found in Section 933.07, F.S. That statute requires a judge to review the warrant application, an affidavit in support of the warrant, and all proofs submitted to determine whether probable cause exists. If probable cause is found, then the statute provides that the judge must sign the search warrant with his or her name of office.

A search occurs when “an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to consider reasonable is infringed.” United States v. Jacobsen, 446 U.S. 109 (1984). Most searches of private property require a warrant in order to protect against official abuses and unfettered police discretion. See Minnesota v. Dickerson, 508 U.S. 366 (1993).

Prior to the warrant being issued, the law enforcement officer must provide sufficient information to establish probable cause to believe that the item listed in the search are located in a particular place. Steagald, 451 U.S. at 213.

The courts have developed several exceptions to the search warrant requirement. Those exceptions to the warrant requirement include:

  • consent;
  • plain view;
  • exigent circumstances;
  • automobile searches;
  • search incident to arrest;
  • investigatory stops;
  • inventory searches;
  • national security;
  • searches of probationers and parolees;
  • case worker visits to welfare recipients;
  • border searches;
  • searches of school students;
  • unreliable ear;
  • administrative searches; and
  • drug testing.

The requirement for the issuance of a search warrant can be found in Section 933.07, F.S. Under that provision judge must review the warrant application, the affidavit in support and all proofs submitted to determine if probable cause exists. 

If probable cause is found, the judge must sign the search warrant with his or her name of office. Any law enforcement officer or other person authorized by law to execute process may then execute the search warrant.

 

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