Can a search warrant of a home be executedbut not given to the resident when requested?

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2011

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Can a search warrant of a home be executedbut not given to the resident when requested?

My home was issued a search warrant. I was never given a copy of the search warrant, despite requesting it numerous times. I never did receive it but found a photocopy on my kitchen counter later that evening.

Asked on April 12, 2011 under Criminal Law, Arizona


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, there is no legal requirement that the police show you a copy of a search warrant at the time that it is executed (you do have a right to see it subsequently).  In fact often they are obtained over the phone from an "on-call" judge.  As a consequence, the actual warrant itself may not be physically available to present.  However, if the police have it at the scene, an officer may show the face page to avoid any confrontations or to convince a person that there is in fact warrant (even though they're not legally required to do so).

That having been said, the law surrounding search warrants is quite technical - was it validly issued in the first place; was the execution procedurally correct; etc.  If you have any questions surrounding this search, you really need to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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